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California man sent threatening texts to families of congressman, journalist on day of US Capitol riot, feds say

California man sent threatening texts to families of congressman, journalist on day of US Capitol riot, feds say

Printed 12: 15 a.m. ET Jan. 27, 2021 | Updated 1: 09 a.m. ET Jan. 27, 2021


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Dwelling Democrats have sent the impeachment payment of “incitement of insurrection” to the Senate, kicking off the trial process.


A California man sent threatening text messages to the families of a Fresh York congressman and a journalist on the same day pro-Donald Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, federal authorities stated Tuesday

Robert Lemke, 35, turned into once arrested in California on Tuesday on a payment of making threatening interstate communications, according to the Justice Department. He sent messages to family of the congressman and to a relative of the journalist saying that armed americans were attain their homes, according to a prison complaint. 

To the congressman’s brother, Lemke sent, “Your brother is hanging your total family at bother with his lies and thoroughly different words. We’re armed and nearby your house. You had better have a observe with him. We’re no longer far from his either. Already spoke to (the congressman’s son) and know where his formative years are.” 

Quickly after the 2020 election, Lemke posted to his Facebook page, “Folks. Be willing for conflict. Trump has refused to cede,” according to the complaint. Echoing baseless claims of voter fraud, he stated, “Supreme Court conditions will build success.”

‘We didn’t construct adequate’: Appearing Capitol Police chief apologizes to lawmakers for going through of Jan. 6 riot

“Stop telling lies; Biden didn’t raise, he won’t be president,” Lemke texted the congressman’s brother on Jan. 6. “We’re no longer white supremacists. Most of us are lively/retired law enforcement or militia. You’re hanging your family at bother. We have armed people attain your house. … Don’t bother their security with your words and lies.”

The Fresh York Occasions and NBC News identified the congressman as Democratic Procure. Hakeem Jeffries. He’s no longer identified in the prison complaint. 

“He turned into once radicalized by ‘the mountainous lie’ that Donald Trump told and that has been supported by so many Republicans in the Dwelling and the Senate,” Jeffries told MSNBC.

Lemke’s texts additionally integrated a image of a condominium in the same neighborhood as Jeffries’ brother’s house, according to the complaint. He additionally sent texts to Jeffries’ sister-in-law, according to federal officials. 

Capitol riot arrests: Glance who has been charged for the duration of the U.S.

The prison complaint additionally doesn’t identify the journalist, however the Fresh York Occasions, citing a person briefed on the investigation, identified ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos. 

“As alleged, Robert Lemke turned into once dissatisfied with the results of the 2020 Presidential Election and subsequent statements about the election made by a U.S. Congressman and journalist,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss stated in an announcement. “In preference to peaceably disagree, Lemke allegedly threatened to break these americans’ families, demanding they like their statements.” 

In accordance to the complaint, Lemke told a “Fresh York Metropolis-basically based totally mostly” relative of Stephanopoulos that the journalist’s “words are hanging you and your family at bother. We’re nearby armed and ready. Thousands of us are lively/retired law enforcement, militia, and many others. That’s how we construct it.”

Lemke, who faces a maximum of 5 years in prison, is predicted to appear in court docket Wednesday. He identified himself on his Facebook page as a faded member of the U.S. Air Force and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office in California, though every the Fresh York Occasions and NBC News reported he by no manner labored for the sheriff’s office and didn’t aid in the militia. 

“Lemke’s alleged threats, aimed at the family of a sitting U.S. Representative and a journalist, crossed a gleaming line,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Fee William F. Sweeney Jr. stated in an announcement. “The FBI’s Fresh York Joint Terrorism Job Force is continuously on peep, and we act with flee to stop violence – whether the risk comes from within our borders or from exterior them. That is how we construct it.”

Extra than 400 suspects had been identified in relation to the riot that left 5 americans needless. On Monday, the Dwelling delivered a piece of writing of impeachment in opposition to Trump to the Senate. The faded president turned into once impeached by the Dwelling on Jan. 13 on one article of “incitement of insurrection.”


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California man sent threatening texts to families of congressman, journalist on day of US Capitol riot, feds say