On May 31, 2006, Daniel Cvijanovich pleaded guilty to three counts of damaging federal property and one count of threatening to assault a federal official. The charges stemmed from three incidents in 2001, when Cvijanovich entered a federal building in Fargo, North Dakota, and threw rocks through a pane of glass separating the public area from the secured area of the building. Attached to the rocks were notes addressed to the FBI.
Cvijanovich, a resident of Fargo, was sentenced to 12 months in prison. At the time of his sentencing, federal agents were aware that, when President George W. Bush visited Fargo in February 2005, Cvijanovich had told some acquaintances that he was in a parking lot near Bush, was armed with a pistol and allegedly had said he was considering an assassination attempt. Although Cvijanovich owned a gun, there was no evidence that he was anywhere near Bush with a gun.
As part of the plea agreement for the rock throwing charges, federal prosecutors agreed not to prosecute Cvijanovich for the Bush incident unless they learned that Cvijanovich’s conduct “materially exceeded” what they knew.
In April of 2007, while Cvijanovich, 26, was incarcerated, three fellow inmates reported that in November 2006 he made threats to kill Bush. Cvijanovich was charged with three counts of threatening to cause bodily harm to the President—one for each statement he made to each of the inmates.
On October 17, 2007, a jury convicted Cvijanovich of one count, based on the testimony of inmate Kyle White, who had met Cvijanovich while in jail on an assault charge. White testified that Cvijanovich said he was going to kill Bush after he was released from prison because Bush was sending soldiers to Iraq. The jury acquitted Cvijanovich of the other two counts, apparently not believing the testimony of the other inmates.
Cvijanovich was sentenced to 19 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He was released from prison on October 15, 2008.
He appealed his conviction, but it was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in February 2009.
Cvijanovich later discovered that White, the inmate who testified against him, had pleaded guilty to assault and that at his sentencing, prosecutors presented a letter he had written to a relative from jail. In the letter, White asked his relative to lie in court to attempt to exonerate White of the assault charge.
The letter was written just prior to November 2006--the time that White would later testified was when Cvijanovich threatened Bush.
Cvijanovich filed a motion on his own behalf, contending that the prosecution had failed to turn over this evidence to him prior to his trial. In July, 2011, a federal judge agreed, ruling that the evidence would have substantially undermined White’s testimony. The conviction was vacated.
On November 28, 2011, the charge was dismissed at the request of federal prosecutors.
– Maurice Possley