California man indicted for attempting to assassinate Brett Kavanaugh

California man, 26, is indicted on one count of attempting to assassinate US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and faces life in jail if convicted

  • The suspect, 26-year-old Nicholas Roske, was arrested outside Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland on June 8 
  • Prosecutors say Roske traveled from California to the justice’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with the intent of killing Kavanaugh 
  • Roske pulled up near the home in a taxi shortly after 1 a.m. on June 8 carrying a suitcase with a gun and ammunition, as well as a tactical chest rig
  • Federal officials have said Roske said he purchased the gun to kill Kavanaugh and also planned to kill himself 
  • Roske faces up to life in prison if convicted 

The California man who was arrested outside of the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been indicted for attempting to assassinate him. 

The suspect, 26-year-old Nicholas Roske, was arrested outside Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland on June 8. He now faces life in jail if convicted of the alleged hit attempt. 

Prosecutors say Roske traveled from California to the justice’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with the intent of killing Kavanaugh. 

Roske pulled up near the home in a taxi shortly after 1 a.m. on June 8 carrying a suitcase with a gun and ammunition, a tactical chest rig with pepper spray and a knife, and a flashlight, a laser, a thermal monocular and other burglary tools, according to court papers. 

Federal officials have said Roske said he purchased the gun to kill Kavanaugh and also planned to kill himself. 

He was arrested by police in Montgomery County, Maryland, after he called 911 and told a police dispatcher he was near Kavanaugh’s home and wanted to take his own life. 

Roske faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Just an hour before, the suspect flew into Washington, DC, from his native California, taking a taxi directly to the conservative jurist’s home.

He soon backed out of the plan, however, putting a call into cops at roughly 1:40 am that saw him confess his desire to kill the judge – as well as himself – and ask for ‘psychiatric help.’

The California man who was arrested outside of the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been indicted for attempting to assassinate him

The suspect, 26-year-old Nicholas Roske, was arrested outside Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland on June 8

Roske pulled up near the home in a taxi shortly after 1 a.m. on June 8 carrying a suitcase with a gun and ammunition, a tactical chest rig with pepper spray and a knife, and a flashlight, a laser, a thermal monocular and other burglary tools, according to court papers

Federal officials have said Roske said he purchased the gun to kill Kavanaugh and also planned to kill himself. A pro-life protester is pictured chalking a slogan outside Kavanaugh’s Maryland home in September 2021 

Officers promptly arrested Roske outside the residence, finding him with a disturbing arsenal of weapons including a handgun, tactical gear, a knife, and zip ties.

He told cops he purchased the equipment ‘for the purpose of breaking into the justice’s residence and killing the justice as well as himself,’ court documents show. 

Roske told police he was upset by a leaked draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court is about to overrule Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion case. 

He also said he was upset over the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, and believed Kavanaugh would vote to loosen gun control laws, according to prosecutors. 

Cops later revealed that Roske, was persuaded to nix the plot by his sister, whom he texted after he saw two deputy U.S. marshals guarding the house.

The suspect planned to murder of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh due to outrage over rumored plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, but was convinced to abandon the plot by his sister

‘The suspect arrived by taxi and observed the U.S. marshals, and he turned around to contemplate his next move,’ Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones told The Washington Post Monday.

The chief further revealed that upon witnessing the marshals, a spooked Roske walked a block away from Kavanaugh’s home, and reportedly deliberated on whether to execute his plot for half an hour, texting his sibling for guidance.

After 30 minutes of back-and-forth, the woman, who was not named by police, convinced Roske to call off the hit. 

‘This is when he texted his sister and told her of his intentions, and she convinced him to call 911, which he did,’ Jones said.

At that point, Jones said, Roske called 911 twice – once at 1:38am and again at 1:39am – to turn himself into authorities, in what appeared to be a cry for help from the now incarcerated suspect.

‘I need psychiatric help,’ he told them, admitting he’d traveled to hurt ‘Brett Kavanaugh … the Supreme Court justice.’ 

Roske told the 911 operator that as well as his intention to assassinate the sitting Supreme Court justice, he was having suicidal and homicidal thoughts, newly released 911 call records obtained by the Washington Examiner detail.

‘I’ve been having them for a long time,’ Roske said. ‘I’m from California. I came over here to act on them.’

Roske explained how he intended to hurt someone and himself.


In 911 calls, Roske (left and right) allegedly told operators that he was upset about the leak of a recent Supreme Court draft decision regarding the right to abortion as well as the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. He is pictured left and right in older photos 

‘I brought a firearm with me, but it’s unloaded and locked in the case… It’s in a suitcase. It’s a black suitcase… I’m standing near it, but the suitcase is zip-tied shut. I just came from the airport.’

Andrew Szekely, a federal public defender who is representing Roske, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the indictment. 

He previously declined to comment on the case after Roske’s first court appearance, the day of his arrest.

The indictment comes one day after the House gave final approval to legislation that would allow around-the-clock security protection for families of Supreme Court justices.

The Senate passed the bill unanimously last month, but it languished in the House as Democrats sought to broaden the measure to include protection for families of court employees. 

Republicans ramped up pressure to pass the bill after Roske’s arrest at Kavanaugh´s house.

FILE – Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh stands during a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington, on April 23, 2021. The California man arrested near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house in Maryland was indicted by a federal grand jury for federal charges of attempting to murder a Justice of the United States. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

FILE – U.S. Marshals patrol outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in Chevy Chase, Md., June 8, 2022. The California man arrested near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house in Maryland was indicted by a federal grand jury for federal charges of attempting to murder a Justice of the United States. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

FBI agents are seen inside Roske’s Simi Valley, California, home last Wednesday night after he was arrested for the alleged assassination plot

Roske placed two calls to 911 at first hanging up and promising to call back with his location.

‘I’m standing now, but I can sit, whatever. I want to be fully compliant. So whatever they want me to do, I’ll do.’ Roske told the 911 operator. 

Roske had travelled with tools to facilitate a burglary, including a gun and even a special pair of hiking boots with soles that allowed for quieter movement inside a house. 

When police conducted a search of Roske’s locked bag and suitcase, they found two magazines and ammunition together with a newly bought pistol, a black tactical chest rig, a tactical knife, and pepper spray. 

Roske also had a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crow bar, and hiking boots together with zip ties and duct tape.

During a confession to the 911 operator, he explained how he had left his home in California while his parents were on vacation in Hawaii and stashed all of his tools and weapons into his luggage.

After being asked why he planned to hurt himself and Kavanaugh, he said: ‘I didn’t think I could get away with it.’ 

Kavanaugh is one of six justices in the court’s conservative wing, against three progressives, but he is not viewed as being as hardline as Alito or some of the others on the bench.

A Catholic native of Washington, his nomination in 2018 to the high court drew particularly heated debates over his views toward women and abortion rights.

His confirmation gave conservatives a 5-4 majority on the court, which grew further when Catholic, stridently anti-abortion Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined in October 2020.

The leak of the Alito draft opinion sparked speculation that someone was hoping to push the court in one direction or another in its final ruling on the abortion case.

Some analysts believe that Roberts and Kavanaugh could occupy a moderating position on the final judgement to partially sustain the abortion protections in the original 1973 Roe v Wade decision.

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