A manager with the security contractor formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide reportedly threatened to kill a State Department investigator in 2007 — shortly before the investigator was pressured to abandon his probe despite finding serious problems with Blackwater’s work.

The New York Times reported Sunday that Jean C. Richter wrote in an Aug. 31, 2007 memo to State Department officials that Blackwater contractors “saw themselves as above the law” and described a situation in Baghdad where “the contractors, instead of Department officials, are in command and control.”

The investigator reportedly warned his superiors that lax oversight of the firm had created “an environment of liability and negligence,” just weeks before a group of guards allegedly opened fire on Iraqi civilians at a Baghdad traffic circle in 2007.

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