A Connecticut man has been charged with threatening to kill California Rep. Adam Schiff with his “bare hands,” federal prosecutors said.
Robert M. Phelps, 62, was charged Monday with threatening to assault and murder a US official and making interstate threats after sending an ominous message to the Democrat through his website in November, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut announced.
“I want to kill you with my bare hands and smash your … face in,” Phelps wrote, according to court documents.
Phelps, who was arrested Friday, wrote “measure your coffin day” when asked when he wanted to meet Schiff through an entry form on the congressman’s website, federal prosecutors said.
Investigators interviewed Phelps, of Torrington, at his home on Dec. 4 and confirmed that he sent the menacing message. He has since been released from custody after posting $25,000 bond, authorities said.
Phelps allegedly made the threat on Nov. 12, one day before the first public impeachment hearing of President Trump, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the New York Times.
Phelps is at least the third person charged with threatening Schiff, the newspaper reports. The congressman served as the lead impeachment manager.
Phelps, who told investigators he was a Republican, admitted to sending the message, but insisted he had a right to do so, saying he needed to “protect ‘his president,’” the Connecticut Post reports.
Attempts to reach Phelps — who is set to return to court on June 3 — were unsuccessful early Tuesday. A public defender representing him declined to comment Monday, the New York Times reports.