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Norman Leboon charges: threats against Congress nothing new

A Philadelphia man, Norman Leboon, was charged Monday with threatening to kill Rep. Eric Cantor, a Jewish Republican. It follows a week when threats became a political issue.

House minority whip Eric Cantor of Virginia discussed threats against House members last Thursday after passage of the healthcare reform package. Monday, a Philadelphia man, Norman Leboon, was charged with threatening Congressman Cantor on a YouTube video.

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The announcement Monday that Norman Leboon, a Philadelphia man, has been charged with threatening the life of Rep. Eric Cantor (R) of Virginia and his family caps a week of unusual public vetting of threats against members of Congress.

For many lawmakers, anonymous threats are seen as part of the job and typically shrugged off. The Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn’t count them. The US Capitol Police rarely comments on them.

But when House Democrats went public last week with reports of threats against at least 10 of their members over healthcare votes, Republicans including Congressman Cantor, the Republican whip, urged Democrats and the news media to avoid politicizing the issue.

“I've received threats since I assumed elected office not only because of my position, but also because I'm Jewish. I've never blamed anyone in this body for that, period,” Cantor said at a press briefing on March 25.

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