Court Battles

Man accused of threatening Congress sentenced to 19 months in prison

A 37-year-old Trump supporter was sentenced to 19 months in prison on Monday for threatening to assault and “slaughter” members of Congress shortly after the deadly Jan. 6 attack.

Two days after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Brendan Hunt of Queens, New York, uploaded a video titled “KILL YOUR SENATORS” onto the video-sharing site BitChute, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Hunt was found to be guilty in April.

In the video, Hunt told viewers “[w]e need to go back to the U.S. Capitol when all of the Senators and a lot of the Representatives are back there, and this time we have to show up with our guns. And we need to slaughter these m—–f—–s.” 

Throughout the video, Hunt called for people to bring guns to the inauguration of then President-elect Joe Biden and “literally just spray these m—–f—–s . . . put some bullets in their f——g heads.”

As The New York Times reported, Hunt was not present at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

At one point, he apparently told viewers to just give their guns to him and said he would “go there myself and shoot them and kill them.” Hunt uploaded another video on Jan. 9, saying senators “should really be afraid about going into public now.”

Hunt took the videos down soon after. He was arrested on Jan. 19, one day before Biden’s inauguration.

Attorneys for Hunt, who formerly worked for the New York State Office of Court Administration, attempted to argue that his videos were a form of comedy, while Hunt himself said he was drunk when he made them and that he had no real plans of following through with what he said.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Breon Peace, said in a statement, “We will not tolerate threats to members of the United States Congress or calls to overthrow our democratically elected government.”

“Not only will we investigate and vigorously prosecute these crimes, but today’s sentence sends a clear message that those who seek to harm our representatives and bring chaos to our democracy will be punished,”Peace added.

The Times noted that the judge who handed down Hunt’s sentence, Judge Pamela K. Chen, said his 19-month prison sentence was not a condemnation of his political or ideological beliefs.

“The defendant was not convicted of, nor is he going to be sentenced for, committing a thought crime, or for simply exercising his First Amendment rights,” said Chen. “It was not simply outlandish political expression. The defendant here crossed the free speech line when he threatened members of Congress.”

Tags 117th United States Congress Joe Biden Joe Biden Queens United States Capitol United States Capitol attack

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