A woman accused of sending a threatening letter to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) pleaded not guilty during a federal court hearing in Maine on Thursday.
Suzanne Muscara, 37, of Burlington, Maine, was indicted by a federal grand jury last Wednesday on one count of mailing threatening communication to Collins in October 2018.
Muscara had “knowingly or willingly” sent a letter containing a threat to injure Collins to the senator’s residence in Bangor, Maine, according to the indictment filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine.
The letter, addressed to “Susan Collins or current resident,” contained a fine white powder and a note stating “AnthRAX!!! HA HA HA!!!,” according to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI.
“A stick-figure face has been drawn with the letter ‘X’ for eyes, the tongue sticking out, and with ‘You’ and an arrow pointing at the stick figure face,” the complaint stated. The white powder tested negative for ricin and other toxic substances and was determined to be starch.
FBI agents found a finger print on the envelope that matched Muscara’s right thumb print, according to the complaint. They arrested Muscara on April 5 at her home in Burlington, where she reportedly admitted to law enforcement that she sent the envelope with the powder to Collins.
“Muscara told us that she thought the letter would be intercepted by law enforcement before it reached Senator Collins and did not believe the note would be taken seriously,” according to the complaint.
The letter was sent to Collins days after she voted in favor of confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct that allegedly occurred decades earlier. Collins’ vote drew ire from Democrats who blamed her and a handful of other senators for Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Representatives for both Collins and Muscara did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Muscara will continue to be held without bail until her trial, which is scheduled to begin June 4.