California resident Michael Anthony Gallagher has been sentenced by federal Judge Richard Seeborg to four months in jail after he sent dozens of racist death threats to top Democrats over a span of some four years. Gallagher, who is 71 years old, sent the threats on handmade postcards to targets ranging from House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. Gallagher’s sentence stems from a guilty plea tied to a threatening postcard that he sent to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who is Black; he signed that particular postcard as “KKK.” Prosecutors had sought just a year of probation for Gallagher, but the judge opted to take a more serious route in delivering his sentence.
PSA: The Trump coup never ended. In 2021, more than 440 voter suppression bills were introduced in 29 states. The attempt to upend our democracy is very much ongoing.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 28, 2022
Gallagher has expressed contrition for his actions. As he put it, during Trump’s presidency he “was impacted by the political polarization of our country,” adding, “That’s when I started on the reproachable path of mailing threatening postcards, for which I am painfully sorry and ashamed. I think I believed I was sending a message about my political views. But now I realize that these views and my conduct were terribly misguided and shameful.” Gallagher’s original threats were serious; in a message to Pelosi, he told her that those opposing her were “going to hang your head off the Washington Monument.” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Tartakovsky observed that Gallagher’s threats “caused anxiety, even terror, to recipients and those possibly in harm’s way” — although the prosecutor ascribed his pursuit of no jail time in this case to Gallagher’s “prompt admission of guilt and genuine contrition” along with his age and lack of any prior criminal record.
Jan. 6 Committee's Rep. Pete Aguilar confirms on @MSNBC that the panel has subpoenaed ex-Trump spokesman Judd Deere, citing his potential first-hand knowledge of Trump's actions before and during the Capitol attack.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 29, 2022
Tartakovsky also noted that no legitimate evidence had emerged indicating that Gallagher had any intention to follow through on his threats, although the judge evidently concluded that jail time was nevertheless warranted. Gallagher has been ordered to begin his sentence by early March. In general, this case yet again shows how Trump has fostered threats of violence and actual violence on his side of the metaphorical aisle, a problem that obviously culminated, in part, with the attack on the Capitol by his supporters last January. Hundreds and hundreds of Trump supporters have been charged for their roles in that attack, and just recently, prosecutors unveiled their first sedition charges tied to the violence. Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers and one of those charged with seditious conspiracy, was recently ordered to remain in custody ahead of his trial. Alongside other issues, federal Judge Kimberly C. Priest Johnson concluded that there was a risk that he could flee if allowed out.
BREAKING: Jan. 6 committee subpoenas the lead participants in scheme to send fake Trump slates of electors to Congress
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) January 28, 2022