A New York man who threatened to kill Democratic members of Congress on social media earlier this year was found guilty by a jury at a federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday, according to the Eastern District of New York.
Brendan Hunt, a 37-year-old part-time actor and filmmaker from Queens who sometimes used the alias “X-Ray Ultra,” was found guilty of one count of threatening to assault or murder multiple U.S. officials in a video posted online, the district said in a statement.
He will be sentenced on June 22, and if convicted, faces up to 10 years in prison, the district said in a statement.
Prosecutors say members of Congress who Hunt threatened in the video included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
“With today’s verdict, the defendant is now a convicted felon, not for his repugnant, racist rants, but because he threatened to attack and kill members of Congress to prevent them from carrying out their constitutional duties, and that is a federal crime,” Mark Lesko, the acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District, said.
“This Office will not tolerate threats of violence against public officials who are entrusted with upholding the Constitution,” he said.
Hunt was accused of posting the video on Bitchute two days after the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot. The video was entitled: “KILL YOUR SENATORS,” with the summary line, “Slaughter them all,” according to a criminal complaint (pdf).
“They’re gonna come after us, they’re gonna kill us, so we have to kill them first,” Hunt allegedly said in the video.
“We need to go back to the U.S. Capitol when all of the Senators and a lot of the Representatives are back there, and this time we have to show up with our guns. And we need to slaughter these [expletive],” he said, according to the complaint.
“[O]ur government at this point is basically a handful of traitors … so what you need to do is take up arms, get to D.C., probably the inauguration … so called inauguration of this [expletive] communist Joe Biden … [T]hat’s probably the best time to do this, get your guns, show up to D.C., and literally just spray these [expletive],” he said, according to the complaint.
Hunt also called on then-President Donald Trump to hold a “public execution” of Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi, and Schumer, saying that if he does not, “the citizenry will.”
“Start up the firing squads, mow down these commies, and lets take america back!” he said, according to the complaint.
Jan Rostal, the defense attorney of Hunt, told jurors her client was a registered Democrat who voted for former President Barack Obama, but later was disappointed by his Middle East policies.
Rostal said Hunt became politically active online to support Trump’s efforts to challenge November’s election results.
During his verdict on Wednesday, Hunt told the court he didn’t really mean what he said in the videos and regrets the language he used, adding that he is a “pretty immature 37-year-old.”
“I had a lot of time to think in prison. I’ve been in prison for three months. A lot of that in solitary confinement,” he said, CNN reported. “And I had to come to grips with the fact that a lot of my language was very inappropriate, it was irresponsible, careless and immature in a lot of ways.”
Tom Ozimek and The Associated Press contributed to this report.