Suspect Charged for Setting Fire to Bernie Sanders’ Office

Nathan Howard/Getty Images
Nathan Howard/Getty Images
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A California man who allegedly set fire to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Vermont office was arrested on Sunday, the Department of Justice said in a release.

Shant Soghomonian, 35, is charged with “using fire to damage the building” at One Church Street in Burlington, Vermont. He could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 as a maximum penalty.

According to the release, Soghomanian was caught on a security camera spraying the door of Sanders’ office with an unidentified liquid and then using a handheld lighter to torch it. He fled the scene as the flames began to grow, damaging parts of the outer office and triggering the building’s sprinkler system, which doused it before firefighters arrived.

No injuries were reported, although the senator’s office was occupied by several employees when the fire broke out. The senator himself was not present at the time of the fire.

It’s unclear why Soghomonian, who is from Northridge, California, set the Burlington blaze. An initial court appearance has not yet been set.

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