A former New York State court worker on trial for threatening to murder prominent Democrats testified on Tuesday that he wrote the social media posts after months of social isolation and “a few bong rips”—and didn’t expect anyone to take them seriously. “If you look at what I was saying, the idea that I would somehow borrow someone’s gun and waltz into Biden’s inauguration ceremony like some Looney Tunes character. I think it’s a pretty ridiculous idea,” Brendan Hunt, 37, said in Brooklyn federal court, according to the New York Daily News.
Hunt is accused of making threats against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and others, following the 2020 election. On Tuesday, he said the remarks, which included encouraging followers to “kill your senators,” came out of “frustration with things in general.”
“I had been listening over the last few years to a lot of rhetoric and a lot of political rhetoric on both sides of the aisle. A lot of stuff on the left was mentioning things like ‘kill Trump’ ... One of my favorite actors, Johnny Depp, said he wanted to do a John Wilkes Booth on Trump,” Hunt said. “I was taking out my frustration on my family members as well ... Especially to my father in texts to get some sort of rise out of him.” Hunt said the pandemic, his isolation, and “a lot of drinking and smoking” made him feel like he was “living in the Twilight Zone.”