A Connecticut man has been charged with threatening to kill Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA, in November, authorities said Monday.
Federal prosecutors said that Robert Phelps, 62, of Torrington, Connecticut, was arrested last week and released on $25,000 bond.
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Court documents say Phelps used Schiff’s website to send this message:
“You little c———- I want to come and see you so I can spit in your face and I want to kill you with my bare hands and smash your sick little round fat lying face in. You had better hope I never meet up with you mother f—–. Robert M. Phelps Republican”
Investigators say they questioned Phelps, after tracing the message to him, and that he admitted sending it, but said he “didn’t see it as threatening.”
Phelps’ lawyer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
Schiff, whose congressional district is in Los Angeles County, has emerged as a prominent Democratic critic of President Donald Trump.
As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff, 59, played a leading role in Trump’s impeachment in the House. In the Senate, where he was selected to serve as the lead manager of Trump’s trial, he argued that the president had “betrayed our national security” and “compromised our elections.”
Trump and congressional Republicans have frequently targeted Schiff with political attacks and called for his resignation.
Pete Williams is an NBC News correspondent who covers the Justice Department and the Supreme Court, based in Washington.
Jonathan Dienst is a reporter for WNBC-TV in New York, leading its investigative reporting team and covering justice and law enforcement issues.