PanaTimes

Sunday, Mar 26, 2023

White House condemns 'horrifying' allegations against New Mexico candidate Peña

White House condemns 'horrifying' allegations against New Mexico candidate Peña

The White House condemned the alleged actions of Solomon Peña, a former Republican New Mexico state legislative candidate accused of targeting Democratic officials, after a judge ruled he would remain in custody until a formal detention trial could be held.
Peña was arrested Monday on allegations that he organized and paid for drive-by shootings at residences of Democratic officials. According to court filings, Peña said he believed that his defeat by nearly 50 percentage points in the New Mexico House of Representatives’ 14th District in November was the result of election fraud. No evidence, however, suggested that his wide margin of defeat in a heavily Democratic constituency of Albuquerque was suspicious.

Asked about Peña at Wednesday’s White House briefing, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “The allegations here are horrifying and shocking, and it’s a miracle no one was hurt. [President Biden] has spoken out repeatedly and emphatically about how our nation rejects violence as a political tool.”

“This administration has also emphasized the dangerous ways in which conspiracy theories and disinformation can lead some individuals to violence. Again, we urge leaders in both parties to reject lies and conspiracies,” Jean-Pierre added, noting that firearms are often used in instances of political violence and that the White House has worked on gun safety legislation.

The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office announced Wednesday that “Metropolitan Court Judge Jill Martinez said Peña will remain behind bars until a formal detention hearing in this case” and that the date for the hearing had not yet been set.

Shortly after the election and just two weeks before the first shooting, Peña posted on Twitter expressing his support for former President Donald Trump’s latest campaign for the presidency and saying he had not conceded his own election, writing that he was “now researching my options.” In a photo attached to the post, Peña is wearing a Trump sweatshirt, with Trump flags behind him on the wall. Peña attended Trump’s Jan. 6, 2021, “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., before the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol intended to stop congressional certification of Biden’s victory.

Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said at a Monday news conference that Peña had been taken into custody, calling him “the mastermind suspect” behind a conspiracy in which he paid four other men to shoot at the residences of two county commissioners and two state legislators — all Democrats.

“To me, it’s very concerning, what his actions were, and the impact they could have on our democracy,” Medina said. “He was trying to intimidate some of our elected officials.”

Peña is alleged to have accompanied the men to the house of state Sen. Linda Lopez on Jan. 3 and “attempted to shoot” into the residence himself, but the automatic rifle he was using malfunctioned. Another man then fired more than 12 rounds from a handgun, some of which flew into the bedroom of Lopez’s 10-year-old daughter.

Peña faces a number of charges, which include four counts of shooting into an occupied dwelling, four counts of shooting at or from a motor vehicle, four counts of conspiracy, possessing a firearm with a felony conviction, attempted aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and criminal solicitation.

The shootings began on Dec. 4 when someone fired at the residence of Adriann Barboa, a Bernalillo County commissioner. On Dec. 8, shots were fired at the residence of state Rep. Javier Martinez, and on Dec. 11, shots were fired at the residence of another Bernalillo County commissioner, Debbie O’Malley. The most recent shooting allegedly linked to Peña occurred on Jan. 3 at Lopez’s residence. Peña had visited some of the homes prior to the shootings to make his case about voter fraud, believing the officials could help him.

“Peña came to my house right after the election. He was sort of erratic in the points he was trying to make about the election and about how many doors he knocked on and how the number of votes didn’t match,” ​​Barboa told NBC News. “He was at my door, and he was aggressive. He was an election denier.”

The authorities had been investigating six different incidents of shots being fired at residences and offices of Democratic officials, but they said Monday they did not believe that the four shootings connected to Peña were related to reports of shots being fired near the former campaign office of Raúl Torrez, the newly elected attorney general of New Mexico, and at the office of state Sen. Antonio "Moe" Maestas.

According to reporting from the Albuquerque Journal, Peña served seven years in prison for the 2007 robbery of a Kmart, being released from prison in 2016 and subsequently serving five years of probation. The paper found a spotty employment record and could not verify claims on Peña’s campaign website that he served as a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman in the Third Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan.

Peña’s social media posts and campaign website show he was immersed in right-wing conspiracy theories, writing at one point, “Critical Race Theory, the entire Black Lives Matter movement, aborting the unborn, food stamps, affirmative action, etc. are all demonic.”

New Mexico Democrats were quick to condemn the attack, comparing it to the election denialism that spread in the wake of Trump’s 2020 defeat that led to the violence of Jan. 6, 2021. Speaking Monday evening, Albuquerque Mayor Timothy Keller said that at “the end of the day, this was about a right-wing radical, an election denier who was arrested today and someone who did the worst imaginable thing you can do when you have a political disagreement, which is: Turn that to violence.”

New Mexico's Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement, “There is no place in our society or our democracy for violence against any elected official or their families," adding, "I trust the justice system will hold those responsible for such attacks to full and fair account.” In her State of the State speech this week, Grisham called for new gun legislation, including a ban on assault weapons.

The Republican Party of New Mexico issued a statement saying, “These recent accusations against Solomon Peña are serious, and he should be held accountable if the charges are validated in court,” adding that the organization “condemns all forms of violence. We are thankful that nobody was injured by his actions. If Peña is found guilty, he must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Ryan Lane, the Republican minority leader in the state House of Representatives, issued a statement Monday saying that “New Mexico House Republicans condemn violence in any form,” calling this “yet another example of a convicted felon unlawfully gaining access to firearms, which they are barred from owning or possessing, and using the weapon in a manner that causes public harm.”

The Republican Party of Bernalillo County said it was “deeply troubled by the reports we’ve received concerning Peña,” and added that it does not “endorse or condone such acts of violence.” Gary Person, a county party official, told Yahoo News on Tuesday, “I don’t understand this, I don’t condone this, and that’s about as far as I’m going to go right now.”
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanaTimes
Close
0:00
0:00
Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Bordeaux town hall set on fire in France pro democracy protest
Police violence in Paris
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
Drew Barrymore
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
Lady bites police officer and gets instantly reaction
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Senator Tom Cotton: If the Mexican Government Won’t Stop Cartels from Killing Americans, Then U.S. Government Should
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
Givenchy Store in New York Robbed of $50,000 in Merchandise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
Kamala Harris: "The United States has formally determined that Russia has committed crimes against humanity."
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History
White House: No ETs over the United States
U.S. Jet Shoots Down Flying Object Over Canada
Nord Stream terror attack: David Sacks breaks down Sy Hersh's story
Being a Tiktoker might be expensive…
Miracle: El Salvador Search and Rescue teams, with the support of Turkish teams, rescued a woman and a child from the rubble 150 hours after the earthquake
SpaceX, the private space exploration company, made a significant breakthrough in their mission to reach space.
China's top tech firms, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, NetEase, and JD.com, are developing their own versions of Open AI's AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT
This shocking picture, showing how terrible is the results of the earthquake in Turkey
President Joe Biden delivered the 2023 State of the Union Address , in order to help Americans that missed the 2022 speech, do not have internet, and suffer from short memory.
×