Authorities dismissed a misdemeanor gun charge against Trump Deputy Assistant Sebastian Gorka Friday after a lengthy process revealed Gorka and his family had received a flurry of death threats related to their counterterrorism work.
Law enforcement authorities concluded the possession of the gun was an accident.
On January 31, 2015, a TSA agent detected a handgun in Gorka’s bag at Reagan Washington National Airport. The Wall Street Journal reported Gorka was then “charged in Arlington County, Va., with carrying a weapon in an airport terminal, a misdemeanor,” and police set a hearing. He made a court appearance in August 2016 and was ordered to forfeit his weapon, pay court costs, and “be of general good behavior for six months.”
In disclosing past events for his position as deputy assistant, Gorka recounted the incident and explained the pressure he and his wife, the Council on Global Security president, Katharine Gorka, were under when he “grabbed the wrong bag” and brought the gun to the airport.
Gorka explained in a statement that the threats his family received in the days leading up to the incident:
After the Paris terror attacks, my wife Katie Gorka, who works in the counterterrorism field, gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal on the international refugee crisis. After the video aired online, my family started to receive death threats on our home phone and my mobile, at all hours.
After I managed to record one of these threats, I reported them to the local police (Fairfax, VA). Also, I was advised by my friends at the FBI to take the threats seriously, and the Bureau initiated an investigation through their Washington Field Office for Counterterrorism. Eventually the investigation revealed the left-wing radical group Anonymous was behind the death-threats. At the same time my wife was encouraged by local police to apply for a Concealed Handgun Carry Permit, and I started to attend the range more regularly as well (I was already a permit holder).
Gorka also explained how he accidentally ended up at the airport with a handgun:
On January 31, 2015 I was traveling by Defense Department official request to U.S. Special Operations Command to give a briefing on ISIS.
On the way to Reagan National I grabbed the wrong bag, one I had just used at the range, which contained an unloaded handgun. I was not aware I had done this but of course it was picked up on the X-Ray machine by TSA. The officer who caught it recognized me from TV, I showed them my Defense Department ID, and I was issued a fine but allowed to board my flight.
At the same time, since Reagan falls under Arlington County, I was required to appear in County Court also at a later date.
On August 8th 2016 the court fined me $150 and the gun was confiscated. The judge decided that if I were not involved in any other incident over the next six months, the charge would be dropped.
When the WSJ reported the charges against Gorka, it pointed out that the misdemeanor charge would not “disqualify” Gorka from securing security clearance as long as he revealed it to investigators. Gorka was forthcoming about the incident: “Steve Bannon was aware of this from the beginning” and Gorka “informed General Flynn” prior to joining the “NSC Transition Team.” Moreover, he reported details of the incident on his SF-86 security form.
Law enforcement authorities dropped the charges against Gorka on February 3, 2017.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.