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

NY man sentenced to prison for racist death threats to Obama, Waters
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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 WatersHillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns House panel to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency project On The Money: S&P hits record as stocks rally on Fed cut hopes | Facebook's new cryptocurrency raises red flags for critics | Internal IRS watchdog rips agency's taxpayer service | Apple seeks tariff relief 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 FrankenThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Mexican officials scramble to avoid Trump tariffs The Hill's Morning Report - Tariff battle looms as Trump jabs 'foolish' Senate GOP Barbs start to fly ahead of first Democratic debate MORE (D-Minn.) about Obama.

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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 TrumpTrump campaign buys full page ads in Miami newspapers ahead of Dem debates Trump administration's 'forced diplomacy' with Iran isn't working Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama 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.”