Thursday, May 26, 2011

Did Peter Fonda Commit the Federal Offense of Threatening President Obama?

We read:
"While promoting a new documentary at the Cannes film festival in France last weekend, Peter Fonda made comments that could be construed as threats against President Obama. “I’m training my grandchildren to use long-range rifles,” the actor told The Daily Telegraph at the international film festival. “For what purpose? Well, I’m not going to say the words 'Barack Obama,' but …”

With those words, the “Easy Rider” star may have committed a federal crime. “Clearly, there is a federal law that prohibits threatening the president,” Washington, D.C.-based attorney Ross Nabatoff tells

“Now, the question is, is that a threat as opposed to him expressing his First Amendment rights? But you could conceivably construe that as a threat—he names the president. It’s a federal offense.

The fact that Fonda, 71, made his comments overseas could work in his favor should legal trouble ensue. “The federal courts may not have jurisdiction in France,” Nabatoff said.



Anonymous said...

Do free speech and US laws have limitations when US citizens speak overseas? Interesting concept.

Funny how the father is 180 degrees from the daughter on the state of the US.


Brian from Virginia said...

I think you are confusing Peter Fonda, Jane's brother, with their father, Henry.

I'm not a fan of President Obama, but this does sound kinda threatening to the POTUS. Its one thing to say you disagree with him, or even that he is a dumbass; saying you are training your grandchildren to shoot long range rifles because of the president is much different in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Was it a threat, or was he stating his political opinion? (one is protected speech, one is not) And, is there a difference? Also, the point about him having said this overseas is an interesting one, but one assumes he has to come home at some point.

BTW, "if" Fonda is not a Commiewood Leftist, he's the only one in the family who isn't. Keep in mind, the hard-core Left is not happy with the Marxist-in-Chief. They feel he should be even more radical than he is!

Anonymous said...

anon 1:57 - it shouldn't matter if he comes back to the US. If I let mt 18 year old child have a drink in a country that the drinking age is 18, the US cannot prosecute me for the 'delinquency of a child' or any other US crime. US law stops at the border.

Spurwing Plover said...

And all the time his traitor sister HANOI JANE is a big time OBAMA supporter like all traitors do

Nutcase said...

Now imagine for a moment that Rush or Hannity, or ... said the same thing.

You can just imagine the 24/7 news cycles calling for their arrest as soon as they returned. But since its come hollyweird leftists, crickets!

Anon 1:57 said...

Anon 2:48 said;
"US law stops at the border."

That's not exactly correct. We have extradition agreements with many countries, which "allow us to bring people back here for breaking our laws". It's also why US Marshals can (legally) pursue criminals who have broken our laws "anywhere in the world".

Use the Name, Luke said...

Another possible way of taking his comment could be that a certain unnamed President is leading the charge towards and/or is a reflection of a move towards conditions in this country where such skills will be necessary.

No matter how he meant it, and whether or not he actually broke any laws, I'm sure the Secret Service is doing its job and taking a close look at Mr. Fonda and his family.

Anonymous said...

Joe Biden is Obama's protection against being shot.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, he did not actually make any threats against the President. It is questionable whether he even suggested his grandchildren might threaten the President.
Secondly, it is a fundamental part of our democracy that we should be able to abuse our elected leaders. Any threat should be disregarded unless it is accompanied by some design to bring the threat to fruition.
Thirdly, while many laws must be broken within the jurisdiction to be successfully prosecuted not all do. For example, here in Australia it is illegal to participate in child sex tourism overseas and you can be prosecuted here for doing so.

Anonymous said...

The statement he made can be considered ambiguous:

All he has to do is tell the Secret Service he meant he was teaching his children how to protect Obama (or any sitting President) from people who want him dead.

Stick to that story and you have the "seed of doubt" that would make any prosecution very difficult.

Spurwing Plover said...

Liberals truly are a bunch of screwed up screwballs

Anonymous said...

A better skill for Americans to learn would be, how to resist torture, or how to live off of rats and insects. Our guns will be gone soon. Anyone who resists this will be marginalized, called domestic terrorists, hunted down, and murdered. If you think americans wont stand for this, you haven't been paying attention. It will all be in the name of security, and the NRA will sign off on it.