Arrest Made After Senator’s Office Engulfed in Flames

( – A man has been arrested and charged for allegedly setting Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ office on fire.

Shant Soghomonian, 35, is accused of starting a fire outside the senator’s office in Vermont, according to U.S. attorney for Vermont Nikolas Kerest. The suspect, previously of Northridge, California, entered the building on April 5 and proceeded to the third floor, where security video captured him spraying a liquid on a door before setting it on fire. The interior of the building suffered some fire damage as well as water damage caused by the sprinklers, but no one was hurt in the blaze. Sanders was not in his office at the time.

The independent senator who has voted in line with Democrats said he was deeply grateful for the fast response of local, state, and federal law enforcement to the blaze. Sanders added that he was glad that no staff had been injured, taking the opportunity to stress his office’s commitment to the residents of Vermont during “challenging times.”

The attack comes as threats of violence are becoming more commonplace approaching the 2024 congressional and presidential elections. No motive has been suggested at present. Politicians on both sides of the spectrum have been targeted in anonymous calls to law enforcement calling for a potentially urgent emergency response. Threats of violence against Republicans are reportedly becoming so severe that members of the party are adjusting their behavior out of fear and under increasing pressure to commit to supporting 2024 candidate former President Donald Trump.

Court documents revealed that the suspect is believed to have been hanging around the office several days before the fire. Investigators believe that it is more likely to have been a planned attack than a spontaneous act of arson. Staff at the inn at Burlington recognized Soghomonian from the image released by the police and informed authorities that the man was staying in the hotel for almost two months. If he is convicted, Soghomonian could face between five and twenty years in prison in addition to a fine of up to $250,000.

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