An Addison, New York, man pleaded guilty on Monday to threatening to assault and murder a U.S. official, after making a threatening call to the office of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)
According to the United States Attorney’s Office of the Western District of New York, Patrick W. Carlineo, 55, also pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms.
Carlineo, who faces sentencing on Feb. 14 of next year, could face up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $250,000 or both.
“This prosecution highlights the fact that the rights secured in our Constitution carry with them certain responsibilities,” noted U.S. Attorney James Kennedy Jr. said in the press release. “The First Amendment right to freedom of speech carries with it the responsibility that individuals not make threats to harm lawmakers simply because they may disagree with them. The Second Amendment right to bear arms carries with it the responsibility that individuals who desire to possess firearms not commit felony crimes.”
Carlineo’s case started back in March 21 of this year, when Carlineo called Rep. Omar’s office. When a staff member answered the phone, Carlineo demanded, “Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a f–king terrorist. Somebody ought to put a bullet in her skull.”
“I’ll put a bullet in her f–king skull,” Carlineo added, the staff member said.
Sonya Zoughlin who is representing Carlineo told The Hill that Carlineo never intended to harm the congresswoman.
“Pat Carlineo is passionate about his political beliefs and his right to express them,” she said. “He has taken responsibility for using threatening and inappropriate language to express those beliefs in this instance.”