A Trump supporter accused of threatening to kill Congresswoman Ilhan Omar pleaded guilty to the offense in a U.S. District Court on Tuesday. According to NBC News, a plea agreement stated that 67-year-old David Hannon sent an email to Omar as well as three other members of Congress after they called out then-President Trump during a televised news conference they had organized.
Prosecutors said the accused Florida man threatened violence against Omar and two other congressional lawmakers of color in a 2019 email he sent to them, adding that he referred to them as “radical rats.” The accused man allegedly sent the threatening email in response to comments Omar made during a press conference that “specifically repeated quotes containing curse words from then-president Trump regarding social issues involving women and minorities,” the plea agreement stated.
Hannon pleaded guilty to one count of threatening a federal official with the intent to intimidate and impede Omar and retaliate against her for performing her official duties, per NBC News. He faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
“No one should fear violence because of who they are or what they believe,” said U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg of the Middle District of Florida in a statement Tuesday. “Unlawful threats against our elected officials are an assault against our democracy, and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to seek justice in these cases.”
Hannon labeled the subject of the email as, “[You’re] dead, you radical Muslim.” And in the email, Hannon stated he was going to shoot Omar and the other Congresswomen in the head. The accused Trump supporter then went ahead to state that Omar “better get more security, or within a week you and the other three radical rats will be six feet under.”
“This is not a threat but fact,” Hannon added. He also asked the Somali-American Muslim lawmaker if she was “ready to die for Islam” and “ready to get out of our country.”
After receiving the email, Omar’s staff got in touch with federal investigators because they were afraid Hannon would follow up on his threats.
Trump, while campaigning for re-election, had reportedly taken to Twitter days before the email to launch a scathing attack on progressive Congresswomen in response to their criticism of his government. The former president suggested the women “go back” and help fix the “crime infested places” they “originally came from” instead.
Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, Omar emigrated to the U.S. as a refugee and settled in Arlington, Virginia. Her family later moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1997. She became the first African refugee elected to Congress in 2018. She is also one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress.
“Threatening to kill our elected officials, especially because of their race, ethnicity or religious beliefs, is offensive to our nation’s fundamental values,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke also said in the statement. “All elected officials, regardless of their background, should be able to represent their communities and serve the public free from hate-motivated threats and violence.”