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Pic: Arsonist attacks senator’s office

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont speaking at a town meeting at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
April 08, 2024

An arsonist suspect was arrested Sunday after starting a fire on Friday at an office building belonging to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

In a Sunday press release, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont announced that 35-year-old Shant Soghomonian, also known as Michael Soghomonian, was arrested Sunday in connection with a federal criminal complaint that claims the former Northridge, California, resident started a fire outside the Vermont Senator’s office located at One Church Street in Burlington, Vermont.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office accused Soghomonian of entering the One Church Street building in Burlington on Friday morning and setting a fire outside the Vermont senator’s office on the third floor.

“Soghomonian was recorded on a security video spraying a liquid near the outer door of the office and then lighting the area with a handheld lighter,” the press release stated. “A blaze quickly began while Soghomonian departed via a staircase. The resulting fire damaged the outside of the office door and surrounding areas, and the building sprinklers discharged on multiple floors.”

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The press release noted that multiple employees were working in the Vermont senator’s office at the time of the arson incident; however, none of the employees were injured by the fire. The U.S. Attorney’s Office added that while the number of other individuals in the interstate commerce building at the time of the fire had not been disclosed, no injuries were reported.

According to The Daily Wire, Sanders was not in Vermont when his office was attacked by the arsonist suspect on Friday. Instead, the Vermont senator had been at a picket line in Los Angeles for a hotel worker strike.

If convicted, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont explained that Soghomonian could face a maximum penalty of “not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years in prison” and up to a $250,000 fine.

A picture of Soghomonian was posted on X, formerly Twitter, by Madeleine Hubbard, a reporter for Just The News. The photo shows the arsonist suspect in a dark jacket, dark pants, and a hat.