A Florida man pleaded guilty Tuesday to sending death threats to U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn).
David Hannon, 67, of Sarasota, entered a guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher P. Tuite to an information charging him with one count of threatening a federal official.
In July 2019, Hannon sent an email to Congresswoman Omar threatening to kill her following a televised press conference held by Omar and fellow Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass) in which they responded to former President Donald Trump after he sent racist tweets about their nationalities.
In his threatening email, which had a subject line that read, “[You’re] dead, you radical Muslim,” Hannon referred to Congresswoman Omar and the other Congresswomen of color as “radical rats,” and asked Congresswoman Omar if she was prepared “to die for Islam.” The email further stated that Hannon was going to shoot the Congresswomen in the head.
He added that Omar “better get more security, or within a week you and the other three radical rats will be six feet under.”
“Threatening to kill our elected officials, especially because of their race, ethnicity or religious beliefs, is offensive to our nation’s fundamental values,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
“The Justice Department will not hesitate to prosecute individuals who violate federal laws that prohibit violent, hate-motivated threats. All elected officials, regardless of their background, should be able to represent their communities and serve the public free from hate-motivated threats and violence.”
“No one should fear violence because of who they are or what they believe,” said U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg for the Middle District of Florida. “Unlawful threats against our elected officials are an assault against our democracy, and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to seek justice in these cases.”
The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $250,00 fine.