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New York man accused of making death threats to Schumer, Schiff over impeachment

Salvatore Lippa II arrested Wednesday for allegedly threatening to kill the lawmakers over Trump's impeachment trial

Police say Sen. Charles E. Schumer received a death threat from a New York man who was arrested Wednesday.
Police say Sen. Charles E. Schumer received a death threat from a New York man who was arrested Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A New York man has been arrested on charges involving threats against Rep. Adam B. Schiff and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer for their roles in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

Salvatore Lippa II, 57, of Greece, N.Y., was charged Wednesday with threatening to assault and murder a federal official for performing their official duties and interstate communication of a threat. Lippa faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or both.

Schumer voted to convict Trump on both articles of impeachment, which accused the president of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. As the Democratic leader of the Senate, he frequently spoke about Trump’s alleged misdeeds and was very critical of his Republican colleagues who — with the exception of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney — voted to acquit Trump on both charges.

Schumer’s Albany, New York, office received a voicemail containing a death threat on Feb. 4, the day before the senators voted on Trump’s fate.

House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Schiff served as the lead House impeachment manager throughout the Senate trial. He essentially led the prosecution against Trump and supervised impeachment hearings in the House.

On Jan. 23, Schiff’s D.C. office received a voicemail that threatened the California Democrat’s life.

According to the complaint, the caller used the phrase “Shifty Schiff,” which Trump often uses on Twitter and at rallies to demean the chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

“I dare you to come, I dare you to come to New York, because I will put a bullet in your” head, the caller said. He then said Schiff “can look up my phone number” if he thought he was joking, and that “I’ll come to Washington and kill you.”

The complaint said the caller to Schumer’s Albany office invoked Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s name before saying, “And let me tell you something, somebody wants to assassinate you, I’m going to be the driver. And he’ll shoot you from 200 yards away.”

Patrick Boland, a spokesperson for Schiff, had no comment. Schumer’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

On Feb. 6, the Capitol Police investigated a suspicious substance outside of Schiff’s congressional office.

The incidents were reported to the Capitol Police’s Threat Assessment Section, which investigated them and traced the phone calls back to Lippa II, according to the Justice Department.

“When questioned by Special Agents from the United States Capitol Police, Lippa admitted to making the threatening calls to Congressman Schiff and Senator Schumer because he was upset about the impeachment proceedings,” the department said in a statement.

Eva Malecki, a spokesperson for the Capitol Police, said the department doesn’t comment on ongoing investigations.

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