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Right-wing rocker Ted Nugent's comments about President Obama have triggered a Secret Service investigation into a potential threat against the president.
Nugent, 63, is known for his outspoken conservative views, and didn't hold back at a National Rifle Association convention over the weekend.
"I'll tell you this right now: If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year," Nugent told the audience, according to The Washington Post.
But wait -- there's more:
"Our president, and attorney general, our vice president, Hillary Clinton -- they're criminals," Ted Nugent continued. "We're Americans because we defied the king. ... We are patriots, we are bravehearts. We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November."
Just what did Nugent mean by those comments?
That's likely what Secret Service agents will be asking Ted Nugent when they meet with him Thursday. Agents will want to know whether Nugent's comments rise to the level of a threat against the president.
Federal law prohibits "any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon" the president and successors to the presidency. A conviction can result in fines and up to five years in prison.
But do Ted Nugent's comments constitute a "threat"? Not if "a reasonable person would interpret them as mere political hyperbole, idle talk, or jest," the Justice Department's manual for federal prosecutors advises.
That's probably why Ted Nugent isn't shying away from his comments, or the Secret Service investigation. "They have a duty. I support them," Nugent said on a talk-radio show, according to Rolling Stone. "I've never threatened. I don't waste breath threatening."
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