Connecticut man charged with threatening to murder Rep. Adam Schiff

A Connecticut man was arrested and charged last week for threatening to murder Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who led the prosecution in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

Robert Michael Phelps, 62, was arrested Friday and later released on a $25,000 bond, the U.S. Attorney’s office for Connecticut said in a Monday press release.

Prosecutors allege Phelps sent a death threat to Schiff via the congressman’s website on Nov. 12, 2019, the eve of the first public impeachment hearing. Phelps allegedly said in his message that he wanted to visit Schiff “so I can spit in your face and I want to kill you with my bare hands and smash your sick little round fat lying face in.”

Phelps later admitted to investigators that he’d sent the message, but “did not see the message as threatening,” according to a criminal complaint.

“Phelps stated he had a right to contact members of Congress and defend ‘his president,’” Daniel Heether, an FBI special agent, said in the complaint.

Trump repeatedly attacked Schiff during and after the impeachment proceedings. 

In January, the president lambasted Schiff as “corrupt” and said the congressman had not yet “paid the price” for his role in the impeachment trial.

Prosecutors said Phelps was charged with threatening to assault and murder a U.S. official, which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years, and with making interstate threats, which carries a maximum jail term of five years.

As The New York Times noted, Phelps is at least the third person who’s been charged with threatening Schiff’s life.

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U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence ranking member Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks with reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
House Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speak with the media about the ongoing Russia investigation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam Schiff (D-CA) reacts to Committee Chairman Devin Nunes statements about surveillance of U.S. President Trump and his staff as well as his visit to the White House, during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks at a town hall meeting on healthcare reform in Alhambra, California, August 11, 2009. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES HEALTH POLITICS)
Ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) (R) speak during the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Russian actions during the 2016 election campaign on March 20, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel Ngan (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) appears on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, March 19, 2017. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks during a news conference discussing Russian sanctions on Capitol Hill February 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP / ZACH GIBSON (Photo credit should read ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Adam Schiff arrives at the 85th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade on November 27, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tara Ziemba/WireImage)
GLENDALE, CA - OCTOBER 07: Congressman Adam Schiff poses with guests at the HAAS Spine And Orthopaedics Official Opening Reception held at HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics Center on October 7, 2016 in Glendale, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 27: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 25: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., walks through the crowd on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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