A man who threatened to assault and kill Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar pleaded guilty in court Monday, according to the United States Department of Justice.
In a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York, the DOJ said 55-year-old Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., of Addison, N.Y., pleaded guilty to threatening to assault and murder a United States official and being a felon in possession of firearms before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci. Carlineo faces the possibility of a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
The charges stem from a call Carlineo made on March 21, 2019, at 12:20 p.m. to Omar’s office in Washington, D.C. During the call, he allegedly said to a member of Omar’s staff “Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a (expletive) terrorist. Somebody ought to put a bullet in her skull. Back in the day, our forefathers would have put a bullet in her (expletive).”
The staff member reported that Carlineo specifically said: “I’ll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull.”
From the DOJ:
Carlineo made the threatening call to retaliate against Congresswoman Omar based on her performance of her official duties. Because he hates individuals he views as radical Muslims being in the United States government, he believed that Congresswoman Omar supports Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and that Congresswoman Omar’s election to the United States Congress was illegitimate.
After receiving the call, the threat was referred to the United States Capitol Police, Threat Assessment Section, who began an investigation in coordination with the FBI.
In addition, on April 5, 2019, the defendant—a previously convicted felon—possessed a load .45 caliber handgun, three rifles, two shotguns, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at his residence in Addison, NY. In 1998, the defendant was convicted of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree in Steuben County Court. In view of that conviction defendant was legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.
The Washington Post reports that Carlineo was interviewed at his home a week following the phone call after an investigation was conducted by the U.S. Capitol Police’s Threat Assessment Section and the FBI.
At the time, he told investigators that “if our forefathers were still alive, they’d put a bullet in her head,” and identified himself as a “President Trump-loving patriot who ‘hates radical Muslims’ in the government,” according to the Post.
Due to his conviction for criminal mischief in 1998, Carlineo was barred from owning any firearms.
U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. said in the DOJ statement, “This prosecution highlights the fact that the rights secured in our Constitution carry with them certain responsibilities. The First Amendment right to freedom of speech carries with it the responsibility that individuals not make threats to harm lawmakers simply because they may disagree with them. The Second Amendment right to bear arms carries with it the responsibility that individuals who desire to possess firearms not commit felony crimes. This Office remains vigilant in upholding the rule of law and reinforcing the notion that—above all else—our Nation’s founders viewed self-governance as the responsibility that each citizen has to control and govern their own behavior.”
Carlineo will be sentenced on Feb. 14, 2020.