Deroy Murdock’s complete letter to the Secret Service follows:
October 11, 2016
The United States Secret Service
Office of Intelligence
245 Murray Lane
Washington, D.C. 20223
Via e-mail: email@example.com
To whom it may concern:
As a concerned American citizen, I hereby request that the United States Secret Service immediately investigate Mr. Robert De Niro for making a violent threat against Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump.
In an Internet video viewed by at least 4.2 million people so far, De Niro says of Trump, “I’d like to punch him in the face.” This comment appears to violate a federal law called “Threats against former Presidents and certain other persons” 18 U.S. Code § 879 (a) (3). According to this statute:
“Whoever knowingly and willfully threatens to kill, kidnap, or inflict bodily harm upon…a major candidate for the office of President or Vice President…shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.”
A visibly agitated De Niro also says of Trump: “He’s a punk. He’s a dog. He’s a pig.” These rude, uncivil words are protected by the First Amendment, and deservedly so.
However, De Niro crossed the line when he threatened to injure Trump. Even if De Niro does not intend to act upon his very public words, they could inspire someone else to carry them out. This incitement effect is all the more worrisome given De Niro’s prominence as one of America’s most beloved actors and the well-deserving winner of two Academy Awards.
De Niro resides in New York City and should be easy to find. He is a co-owner of the Tribeca Grill (375 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10013). He also is co-director of A Bronx Tale, a new musical, at the Longacre Theater (220 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036).
Finally, I do not report this statement with any sense of joy. I long have been a fan of the talented Mr. De Niro. However, I saw something and am saying something because no American — famous or obscure — should threaten violence against a presidential candidate, especially in such a public and highly visible fashion.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor.