Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have announced a conviction of a Trump supporter who threatened perceived political opponents and their families.
Robert Lemke pleaded guilty to making threatening interstate communications to a New York City-based family member of a journalist, prosecutors announced.
"From November 2020 through early January 2021, the defendant sent threatening electronic and audio messages to approximately 50 victims, including journalists and politicians, targeting those individuals as a result of their statements expressing that then-President Trump had lost the 2020 presidential election. On January 6, 2021, the same day that individuals purporting to protest the 2020 presidential election gathered in Washington, D.C. and stormed the Capitol Building, Lemke sent a series of these threatening text messages to journalists, members of Congress, other politicians, and their families," prosecutors explained in a release.
Prosecutors also said Lemke threated the brother of a congressman. The New York Times reported that it was the families of ABC News journalist George Stephanopoulos and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) who were threatened.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams blasted Lemke's conduct.
"Robert Lemke was frustrated with the result of the 2020 Presidential Election. Rather than attempting to effect change through legal discourse or any of the other freedoms of expression that all Americans enjoy, he instead sent threatening messages to the family member of a journalist. Inevitably, elections result in frustrations for some – that is part of the political process – but trying to instill fear in others by threat will not be tolerated by law enforcement," he said.
Lemke is scheduled to be sentenced in December.