After a man accused of threatening her life pled guilty to the crime in a U.S. District Court, Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday released publicly a letter she wrote asking the federal judge presiding over the case to “show compassion” in his sentencing.
Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., a 55-year-old man from upstate New York, pled guilty on Monday on gun charges and for threatening to murder Omar in phone calls he made to her congressional office in March of this year. But in her letter to Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr., Omar said that while the charges were quite serious she did not think that an overly punitive sentence was the answer.
“The answer to hate is not more hate; it is compassion,” Omar wrote.
“Who are we as a nation,” her letter asks, “if we respond to threats of political retribution with retribution ourselves?”
The Minnesota Democrat posted the letter in its entirety on social media:
I agree with Representative Ilhan Omar: The answer to hate is not more hate; it is compassion. https://t.co/zHwTHAusVt
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 19, 2019
The formal complaint against Carlineo Jr. charged that he cited Omar being a Muslim before calling her a “terrorist” and threatening to “put a bullet in her [expletive] skull” when he called her office.
In her letter, Omar argues that punishing Carlineo “with a lengthy prison sentence or a burdensome financial fine would not rehabilitate him” or repair the harm he caused. Likely, Omar said, such a sentence “would only increase his anger and resentment.”
In her letter, Omar said the U.S. must address the “systemic alienation” that victimizes people who often go on to commit acts of violence “through community reintegration and social services.”
Carlineo’s crime, Omar pointed out, is just a single example of the hate speech and political violence which “are an increasing feature in our public sphere.”
“We will not defeat it with anger and exclusion,” Omar wrote. “We will defeat it with compassion.”
The congresswoman’s letter garnered applause from progressives and critics of the U.S. prison system including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
“I’m amazed at this letter from Ilhan Omar, asking for mercy for the man who was just convicted of threatening to assassinate her,” tweeted Slate writer and podcast host Aymann Ismail.
BUSTED: Devin Nunes is hiding how he’s paying for all his frivolous lawsuits — which could land him in more trouble
On Saturday, the Fresno Bee dived into a lingering question: How does Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) pay for all the lawsuits he is filing against journalists, satirists, and political critics?
"Nunes, R-Tulare, has filed lawsuits against Twitter, anonymous social media users known as Devin Nunes' Cow and Devin Nunes' Mom, a Republican political strategist, media companies, journalists, progressive watchdog groups, a political research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and a retired farmer in Nunes’ own district," noted the Bee.
These lawsuits were mainly filed in Virginia — a state with very loose laws against so-called "SLAPP suits," or meritless lawsuits intended to drown people in legal expenses in retaliation for expressing political opinions. Nunes was assisted in these suits by Steven Biss, a Virginia attorney, and yet except for the suit against the retired farmer, there is no clear record in Nunes' FEC reports of how he paid for the suits.
Trump brings up Brett Kavanaugh in rage tweet at Democrats about coming impeachment trial
On Saturday, President Donald Trump brought up Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a bizarre rant against the "Radical Left, Do Nothing Dems" and his anger over the direction of the impeachment process:
After watching the disgraceful way that a wonderful man, @BrettKavanaugh, was treated by the Democrats, and now seeing first hand how these same Radical Left, Do Nothing Dems are treating the whole Impeachment Hoax, I understand why so many Dems are voting Republican!
McConnell’s impeachment collusion admission handed the Democrats a powerful new weapon to damage the president
Mitch McConnell's admission on Fox News that he is working behind the scenes with the White House to stack the Senate impeachment trial gives Democrats a potent weapon against the GOP, wrote Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman in the Washington Post.
"If Democrats play their procedural cards right, they can pressure Republicans to allow for a much fairer and more open trial that could actually produce new revelations — and if they refuse, extract a political price for it," they wrote.