The search history on the phone of Nicholas John Roske – accused of planning to assassinate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh – includes the phrases like “most effective place to stab someone” and “assassin skills,” according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) search warrant application.
Both subjects, among other phrases using “assassin” and “assassination,” were searched on the device in the weeks leading up to his alleged attempt on Kavanaugh’s life.
In the affidavit supporting a search warrant, obtained by the Daily Beast, FBI special agent Ian Montijo highlighted worrying Internet searches from the phone of the accused, Nicholas Roske, between May 5 – just days after the Supreme Court leak in the draft decision of Dobbs v. Jackosn Women’s Health Organization – and June 8, the morning of his arrest near Kavanaugh’s residence. Per the Affidavit, his phone’s search history included:
“quietest semi auto rifle,” “Reagan assassination attempt,” “most effective place to stab someone,” “assassin skills,” “assassin equipment,” “assassinations,” “supreme court,” “how to be stealthy,” “gun lubricant,” and “supreme court” among other things.
Moreover, some Reddit and Discord communications from accounts that allegedly belonged to Roske were highlighted in the affidavit supporting a search warrant. On May 10, just over a week after the unprecedented leak, an allegedly Roske-owned Reddit account, with the user name Narrow_Frosting_1539, posted to the Reddit page r/TwoXChromosomes. “Would Kavanaugh being removed from the SC help women long term?” the post read, according to the court filings.
The affidavit notes that U.S. Marshals observed Roske arrive outside of a justice’s home, which has been identified as the residence of Kavanaugh, just after 1:00 a.m. on June 8 with a suitcase in tow. Shortly after arriving, an individual called 911, identified himself as Nicholas John Roske, and expressed he had traveled from California to assassinate the justice, the affidavit states. The Montgomery County Police arrived and arrested Roske. The court document notes:
A search of the seized suitcase and backpack revealed a black tactical chest rig and tactical knife, a Glock 17 pistol with two magazines and ammunition, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crowbar, pistol light, duct tape, hiking boots with padding on the outside of the soles, and other items.
Per the affidavit, later that day, Roske identified an individual referred to in the document as “Person #1” as someone he communicated with regarding the leak. On June 13, authorities interviewed the individual, who identified Discord user “Sophie42” as Roske, and subsequently gave agents permission to review their communications on Discord, where Roske, of California, allegedly disclosed plans to assassinate multiple Supreme Court Justices. According to the affidavit, their May 25 conversation reads as follows:
ROSKE: im gonna stop roe v wade from being overturned
Person #1: what u tryna do
ROSKE: remove some people from the supreme court
Person #1: u gonna Tun? Run?
ROSKE: after you mean?
Person #1: oh haha good one Two dead judges ain’t gonna do nothing The whole government is fucked There’s no fixing that You would die before you killed them all
ROSKE: yeah but I could get at least one, which would change the votes for decades to come, and I am shooting for 3 all of the major decisions for the past 10 years have been along party lines so if there are more liberal than conservative judges, they will have the power
On June 6, Just two days before his arrest, the Roske-linked account Narrow_Frosting_1539 posted on the Reddit page r/USMC, wondering: “How difficult is it to covertly take out an HVT?” Drawing from his expertise, Montijo noted that he believes the phrase HVT is short for “High Value Target.”
Roske faces a federal charge of “attempting to murder a Justice of the United States,” as the Department of Justice has previously noted. He has entered a not-guilty plea.
The case is the United States of America v. Roske, No. 22-mj-1848, in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.