NY man sentenced to prison for racist death threats to Obama, Waters

NY man sentenced to prison for racist death threats to Obama, Waters
© Getty Images

A New York man was sentenced to nearly four years in prison on Tuesday for making racist death threats about former President Obama and Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersNadler asks other House chairs to provide records that would help panel in making impeachment decision Bank watchdogs approve rule to loosen ban on risky Wall Street trades F-bombs away: Why lawmakers are cursing now more than ever MORE (D-Calif.).

The New York Daily News reported that Stephen Taubert, 61, was sentenced to 46 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for threats he made in July 2018 to Waters's office and a year earlier to the office of then-Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFormer GOP Rep. Jason Lewis says he'll challenge Tina Smith in Minnesota Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment Reid says he wishes Franken would run for Senate again MORE (D-Minn.) about Obama.

ADVERTISEMENT

Taubert admitted in a police interview that was played in court that he had called Waters's congressional office repeatedly and made threats in an attempt to "terrorize" the California Democrat's staffers.

“Racist threats to kill present and former public officials are not protected free speech, but serious crimes against both the victims and the rule of law that is the cornerstone of our Republic,” said U.S. Attorney Grant Jaquith, according to the Daily News.

"As the trial verdict and sentence in this case illustrate, those who spew such vile, violent hatred will be held accountable," he added.

According to the newspaper, authorities said that Taubert's threats included numerous “vile racial slurs" and that he had threatened to kill every member of Waters's staff and hang the former president.

At his trial, Taubert blamed his mental health and presence on social media for the threats, according to the newspaper. His anger, he added, stemmed from displeasure at seeing Democratic politicians criticize President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative MORE.

“Probably the worst thing for me is social media," he reportedly said. “I should stay off of it. When I hear all these people knocking the president, it upsets me.”