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Suspect in attack at Spokane County Democrats HQ facing federal charge

Peter Yeager, a 45-year-old man from Grand Coulee, is accused of starting a fire that resulted in damage to multiple offices in the Spokane Teamsters Union building.

SPOKANE, Wash. — A 45-year-old man accused of starting a fire at the Spokane County Democrats' headquarters is now facing a federal charge. 

The indictment announced by William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, charges Peter Yeager of Grand Coulee with Damage by Fire to a Building Used in Interstate and Foreign Commerce. 

According to state court documents, Yeager drove from his home in Grand Coulee to Spokane on Dec. 9, 2020, with a plan to burn down the Spokane County Democrats' office located in the Teamsters Union Building on N. Division Street. 

Yeager entered the building and told multiple people that he had a "bomb," according to court documents. He did not have a completed explosive device, but he did have gasoline, oil, a roll of toilet paper and a camping lighter, which he allegedly used to start a fire within the office. 

The fire resulted in damage to multiple offices in the Teamsters building, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Yeager told Spokane police in December that he does not align with any political party and was not targeting Democrats in the attack, according to spokesperson Julie Humphreys. Instead, he was mad at the entire government system and the “elites” within, police said. 

He added that he does not belong to any radical or political groups and described himself as a "lone wolf." Yeager also created a "manifesto" and brought a handwritten copy of it to the Teamsters Union building, police said. 

RELATED: Self-described 'lone wolf' targeted government in Spokane County Democrats attack

The federal crime Yeager is facing is punishable by a minimum of five years in prison up to a 20-year term of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and a three-year term of court supervision following any prison term, Hyslop said. 

Independent charges have been filed by the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney, the DOJ said in its press release. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Spokane Police Department are investigating the case, with help of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the local Explosive Disposal Unit and the Spokane Fire Department.

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