Man arrested for setting Senator Bernie Sanders’ office on fire

BURLINGTON, VT – A 35-year-old man was taken into custody on Sunday for allegedly igniting a fire at the Vermont office of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, as announced by federal prosecutors.

The accused, Shant Soghomonian, previously a resident of Northridge, California, reportedly entered the building on Friday. Surveillance footage captured him on the third floor, where Sanders’ office is located, spraying a liquid on the door before setting it alight.

The fire and the subsequent activation of the sprinkler system caused some damage to the building’s interior. However, no injuries were reported. At the time of the incident, Sanders, an independent senator, was not present in the office.

Soghomonian was apprehended on a charge of using fire to damage a building involved in interstate commerce, as stated by Nikolas Kerest, the U.S. attorney for Vermont. The reasons behind Soghomonian’s actions remain unknown. He was detained on Sunday and was unreachable for comments. His legal representation, if any, is yet to be confirmed, and an initial court appearance has not been scheduled.

The crime that Soghomonian is accused of carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail and a fine that could reach up to $250,000.

The investigation of the case involved multiple law enforcement agencies, including police departments from Burlington, Shelburne, and Williston; Vermont State Police; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and U.S. Capitol Police.