- A Florida man was convicted Wednesday of threatening three lawmakers.
- Rep. Ilhan Omar said on Twitter her office was among those targeted with a death threat.
- The man was also convicted of calling another congressman and threatening to cut off his head.
A 73-year-old man in Venice, Florida, has been convicted of threatening three members of Congress, and Rep. Ilhan Omar said she was one of the targets.
A federal jury found Frank Anthony Pezzuto guilty Wednesday of sending “three separate threatening communications to injure certain members of Congress,” according to the US Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Florida.
Pezzuto called the office of a congressman identified only as E.S. on January 25, 2020, saying he was coming to kill him, according to evidence presented at the trial.
On January 30, 2020, Pezzuto called the office of another congressman, identified as A.S., and claimed he was a member of the gang MS-13 and that they were coming to cut off A.S.’s head, according to the evidence.
The third call presented as evidence was to the office of a congresswoman identified as I.O. on February 3, 2020. Pezzuto told the person who answered the phone: “Tell her I’m going to kill her today.”
Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, said in a tweet Wednesday that her office had recieved that call.
—Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 11, 2021
“The use of violent rhetoric in political speech is incitement & is definitely creating an environment where members of Congress are receiving constant death threats. Enough!” she wrote. “Today, Florida man who left this chilling message with my staff was convicted.”
The US Attorney’s Office said Pezzuto made the calls from his home in Florida with his cell phone. He concealed his number but Capitol Police, who investigated the case, were able to identify him as the caller.
Pezzuto’s sentencing date has not been set. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
Other members of Congress have also reported receiving death threats and other violent messages.
In April, a Trump supporter from New York, Brendan Hunt, was convicted of threatening to kill lawmakers after posting a video in January titled “KILL YOUR SENATORS: Slaughter them all,” during which he said he would go to President Joe Biden’s inauguration and “shoot them and kill them.”
Capitol Hill staffers told Insider’s Robin Bravender they have recieved abusive and threatening calls this week after the Republican representatives they work for voted for the Democrats’ infrastructure bill.
GOP Rep. Fred Upton, who also voted for the bill, said his office received an expletive-filled voicemail this week wishing death upon his entire family and staff.