A California Trump supporter pleaded guilty to sending threatening text messages to a family member of ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced Friday. Robert Lemke was charged in January for sending the ominous texts to both Stephanopoulos’ family member and the brother of U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to attack them for stating Joe Biden won the 2020 election. Some of Lemke’s texts were sent on Jan. 6, the same day Trump supporters rioted at the U.S. Capitol. “We are nearby, armed and ready. Thousands of us are active/retired law enforcement, military, etc. That’s how we do it,” he wrote.
“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,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “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.”