New York resident and Trump supporter Brendan Hunt has been sentenced to 19 months in prison after being found guilty of “threatening to assault and murder members of the United States Congress to impede, interfere with and intimidate those members and to retaliate against them on account of their performance of their official duties,” as a press release from the Justice Department explains. Hunt said in a video that he posted online in early January that Trump supporters needed to “go back to the U.S. Capitol when all of the Senators and a lot of the Representatives are back there and this time we have to show up with our guns and we need to slaughter” certain Congresspeople because of their certification of Biden’s presidential election victory.
The Republican National Committee is paying some personal legal bills for Donald Trump, spending party funds to pay a lawyer representing Trump in investigations into his financial practices in New York. https://t.co/cZUGBT1sxt
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 23, 2021
Arguments about free speech were raised in Hunt’s defense, but federal Judge Pamela Chen, who sentenced him, noted that we “cherish free speech in this country but we also cherish our form of government.” Hunt was originally arrested in January — the day before Biden’s inauguration — and he has been held in custody since that point. Chen criticized Hunt during his sentencing hearing this week for his efforts to “portray himself as a victim.” As the judge put it, discussing Hunt:
‘Though I think he’s expressing remorse now, it feels very much to me that he feels much worse for himself and his family than he does for anybody else.’
A supporter of former president Donald Trump was sentenced to 19 months in prison for threatening to “slaughter” members of Congress days after the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol https://t.co/VJ0f7qYi6Z
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 23, 2021
Chen also told Hunt that he needs to “to grow up and reflect on your actions.” The Washington Post noted this week that materials “presented at trial portrayed him as an embittered homebody who was obsessed with Nazi Germany and white supremacist concepts and grew increasingly fixated on a right-wing agenda and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election results.” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Pearce noted around the time that the sentence was announced that authorities “will not tolerate threats to members of the United States Congress or calls to overthrow our democratically elected government,” adding that “not only will we investigate and vigorously prosecute these crimes, but today’s sentence sends a clear message that those who seek to harm our representatives and bring chaos to our democracy will be punished.”
"We have to take out these Senators and then replace them with actual patriots. This is a [Zionist Occupied Government]."https://t.co/ExAGWdgvD8
"Queens Man Sentenced to 19 Months in Prison for Threatening to Murder Members of Congress"
— Mark Pitcavage (@egavactip) November 23, 2021
Although Hunt did not attend the riot at the Capitol, the Justice Department described his trial as “the first trial to address the consequences of the January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol.” Read more from the Justice Department at this link.
— US Attorney EDNY (@EDNYnews) November 22, 2021