A Queens, New York man who threatened to kill Democratic members of Congress has been sentenced to 19 months in prison.
U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen issued the sentence to Brendan Hunt, 37, after a four-hour hearing Monday, according to a Washington Post report.
Hunt was not part of the mob of Donald Trump supporters that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
But in the days after, he posted a video with the title “Kill Your Senators” to his page on BitChute, a video-hosting website popular with far-right conspiracy theorists and white supremacists. He also made social media posts calling for people to bring guns to the inauguration of President Joe Biden, and threatened to publicly execute Democratic leaders in Trump’s name.
A jury convicted Hunt in April for threatening public officials. The jury found that the “Kill Your Senators” video constituted a threat, but his social media posts did not.
According to the Post, Hunt apologized at the hearing for his actions, but also insulted law enforcement, criticizing the Justice Department for drawing attention to his interest in Adolf Hilter.
“The government’s claim that I was motivated to make this video because I’m some kind of neo-Nazi white supremacist is just an ugly, untrue and unfair lie,” Hunt said, according to the Post report. “Associating someone with Nazis is a standard of evil which lazy rhetoric resorts to when it’s groping for negatives.”
Judge Chen said that Hunt seemed to care more about the impact on himself and his family, and not those he threatened, according to the Post.
Chen said Hunt has a tendency to “portray himself as a victim,” with a “very defiant personality” that has revealed itself to jail staff at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, the Post reported.
“Though I think he’s expressing remorse now, it feels very much to me that he feels much worse for himself and his family than he does for anybody else,” the judge said, adding that she was imposing additional jail time both because Hunt’s crime was “serious and for the purposes of general deterrence,” according to the report.
“Mr. Hunt, you are going to have to grow up and reflect on your actions,” she reportedly added.
According to Department of Justice filings, Hunt’s Jan. 8 video included the subtitle “Slaughter them all.” Here’s what Hunt said, according to prosecutors:
“We 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 motherfuckers . . . [O]ur government at this point is basically a handful of traitors . . . so what you need to do is take up arms, get to D.C., probably the inauguration . . . so called inauguration of this motherfucking communist Joe Biden . . . [T]hat’s probably the best time to do this, get your guns, show up to D.C., and literally just spray these motherfuckers . . . like, that’s the only option . . . [T]hey’re gonna come after us, they’re gonna kill us, so we have to kill them first . . . [S]o get your guns, show up to D.C., put some bullets in their fucking heads. If anybody has a gun, give me it, I’ll go there myself and shoot them and kill them . . . [W]e have to take out these Senators and then replace them with actual patriots . . . [T]his is a ZOG government . . . [T]hat’s basically all I have to say, but take up arms against them.”
“ZOG” stands for “Zionist Occupied Government,” a white supremacist theory that Jewish people control the U.S. government.
Also on Jan. 8, Hunt posted on right-wing social media website Parler: “. . . enough with the ‘trust the plan’ bullshit. lets go, jan 20, bring your guns . . .”
On Jan. 9, Hunt posted another video on BitChute, in which he said:
“So start exercising your rights to take these corrupt politicians down. We have the first amendment, that’s still around, remember? And we have the second as well. There are really only a hundred of these weakling Senators. They are mass murdering psychopaths who are intent on our destruction, and they form an illegitimate government. Every single one of them just needs to go. Rise up.”
The jury convicted Hunt only for the Jan. 8 “Kill your senators” video. He was not convicted for what he posted on either Parler or Facebook.
Hunt is the son of a former family court judge. He was working for New York’s Office of Court Administration at the time he made the threats against the Democratic leadership.
Chen’s sentence is considerably less than the government’s request of 51 to 63 months. Hunt’s attorneys had asked Chen to sentence him to the 10 months he has already served.
[Image via screengrab/BitChute]
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