A western New York man pleaded guilty Monday to leaving voicemail death threats for U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Adam Schiff because he was angry about impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, federal prosecutors said.
Salvatore Lippa, 57, of the Rochester suburb of Greece pleaded guilty to two counts of threatening a U.S. official, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. Sentencing is set for Sept. 1 in federal court in Rochester.
Lippa admitted he made profanity-laced phone threats against the New York senator and California representative, both Democrats, in January and February. In a message at Schiff’s Washington, D.C. office, he threatened to “put a bullet” in Schiff’s forehead. In a message at Schumer’s Albany, New York, office, he said “somebody wants to assassinate you, I’m going to be the driver.”
“Free speech protection under the First Amendment ends where true threats begin,” U.S. Attorney James Kennedy said in a statement Monday.