A diehard Trump supporter from Queens New York who posted a disturbing video threat against members of Congress faces up to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of death threats against elected officials.
A jury took just three hours to return a guilty verdict against Brendan Hunt, the 37-year-old man who posted the video titled “KILL YOUR SENATORS: Slaughter them all” shortly after the January 6th siege on the Capitol. According to CBS New York, Hunt even took the stand to testify on his own behalf. The video was placed on BitChute, a hosting service popular with the alt-right. He was arrested on January 19, the day before Biden’s inauguration, and charged with one count of making a threat to assault and murder a United States official.
Hunt’s case, which was prosecuted in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, is seen as a test of how far violent speech can go before it crosses a line into criminality.
Hunt did not take part in the Capitol riots, and he also did not reach out to the offices of the elected officials mentioned in previous social media posts. His lawyers argued that his comments calling for the lawmakers’ murders, made from his Queens home, were constitutionally protected and while admittedly offensive, they did not constitute legitimate threats.
The jury also concluded that menacing social media posts Hunt made in 2020 — directed at Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — did not rise to the level of criminality.