Man accused of threatening to kidnap senator to change plea

A man accused of threatening to kidnap and kill a United States senator and his family is scheduled to change his plea Tuesday in federal court in Phoenix. James Dean Blevins had previously pleaded not guilty to charges of retaliation by threats against an official identified only as “United States Senator J.F.” and making interstate communications that contained threats.

Authorities have declined to provide the victim’s full name, but then-Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona was the only senator with those initials.

Flake had said in late September that his family received death threats after he asked a Senate committee to hear testimony from a woman who accused then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

Flake ultimately voted for Kavanaugh’s nomination.

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