Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said the man charged with threatening to kill her should be treated with “compassion” and taught “love” in order to stop the root causes of hate crimes and political violence. In a letter to Chief U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci, Omar said there was “no doubt” that 55-year-old Patrick Carlineo’s crime was a “grave” one. “But we must ask: who are we as a nation if we respond to threats of political retribution with retribution ourselves?” she wrote. “The answer to hate is not more hate; it is compassion.” She added that a “lengthy prison sentence” for Carlineo would only “increase his anger and resentment,” which caused him to commit the crime in the first place. “We must teach the defendant love,” she wrote.
Carlineo pleaded not guilty to threatening to assault and murder Omar and to being a felon in possession of firearms, the Justice Department announced Monday. According to The Washington Post, the charges stem from a threatening phone call he made to Omar’s D.C. office, and he faces up to 10 years in prison along with a $250,000 fine.