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Pennsylvania man pleads guilty to threatening to kill Rep. Eric Swalwell

PIX Now 11:08

SAN FRANCISCO -- A 22-year-old Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to charges he called the Bay Area offices of Rep. Eric Swalwell, threatening to kill him.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams announced the guilty plea from Joshua Hall on Friday. 

Hall pleaded guilty to one count of making interstate communications with a threat to injure, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

He had previously pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

"Joshua Hall made terrifying threats to the staff of a United States Congressman whom he disliked rather than attempting to effect change through any of the freedoms of expression that all Americans enjoy,"  Williams said. "These threats of violence endanger our public officials and thwart common decency, which is why this Office will continue to prosecute crimes like those committed by Joshua Hall."  

Over the weekend, Swalwell thanked law enforcement and commented on the increasingly dangerous political environment.

On Friday, a 42-year-old Berkeley man invaded the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi violently assaulting her husband, Paul, with a hammer.

A source briefed on the attack told CBS News the assailant who attacked Pelosi was in search of the Speaker of the House. Before the assault occurred, the intruder confronted Mr. Pelosi shouting, "Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?"

San Francisco police chief Bill Scott identified the suspect as David Wayne DePape, who was to be formally charged on Monday.

"Politics can be polarizing, but we must never normalize or tolerate death threats," Swalwell said in his statement. "Today, MAGA political violence is at peak level in America and it's going to get someone killed. I urge GOP leaders to denounce the violence."

Williams said Hall had previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud for impersonating family members of the then-President Donald Trump on social media to fraudulently raise funds for a fictitious political organization.

At the time Hall made the threats to Swalwell, he was on pretrial release pending sentencing for the fraud scheme. 

On or about August 29, Hall placed a series of telephone calls from in or around Yonkers, New York, to the Swalwell's Bay Area office. During those telephone calls, Hall conveyed threats to kill Swalwell to at least three different members of his staff.

"On a telephone call...Hall stated, in substance and in part, that he had a lot of AR-15s; that he wanted to shoot the Congressman; that he intended to come to the Congressman's office with firearms; and that if he saw the Congressman, he would kill him," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a release.

"He further stated, in substance and in part, that he wanted to "beat the shit out of" the Congressman and that he would find the Congressman wherever he was and hurt him."

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