[Ed. – But did the emails come from a Nigerian prince?]
WASHINGTON — A group of House Republicans has received a mysterious threat in recent weeks: an anonymous email that promises political retribution for those who vote yes to a debt-limit increase — sent to their closely guarded personal email addresses.
Because of the near-secret nature of lawmakers’ internal email addresses, the emails have raised more than a few eyebrows — and the possibility that one of their own was behind, or at least assisting in the attacks.
The emails, circulated to lawmakers at the end of January and during their closed door retreat earlier this month, came as Republicans struggled to come up with a plan to extend the nation’s debt limit. Leadership threw in the towel Tuesday, opting to move a bill that simply raises the debt ceiling without other conditions. The bill passed Tuesday, with nearly every House Democrat and 28 Republicans voting for it.
“It’s got to be another member. Probably one of the crazy ones,” said a Republican who had seen the email, which was sent from an anonymous email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. …
That the messages went to members’ internal House emails suggests a member or high-level staffer either wrote them or provided the emails to an outside person to use.
“It’s very, very difficult to get those emails,” a former leadership aide said, saying that even for a member of Congress it would take work to compile a comprehensive list of members, noting that it’s much easier to find, for instance, [Oklahoma Rep. James] Lankford’s personal, non-congressional email than his internal congressional address.
Lankford, however, downplayed the chances that one of his colleagues sent the strange missive. “It reads too weird to be that. Some of the statements, some of the stuff in it … at one point in one of the original emails they call me Jim. No one calls me Jim. I go by James. There’s one addressed to the speaker and it’s starts off to ‘John.’ Nobody calls the speaker ‘John,’” Lankford told BuzzFeed Tuesday afternoon.