BAY POINT (CBS SF) – A Contra Costa County man has been sentenced to federal prison after being convicted of threatening dozens of people, including members of Congress and journalists, over the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office in the Southern District of New York, 36-year-old Robert Lemke of Bay Point was sentenced to 36 months in prison after pleading guilty to making threatening interstate communications.
Court documents said Lemke sent threatening messages to about 50 people, including lawmakers and reporters, along with their families, over saying that President Donald Trump had lost the 2020 presidential election. Lemke had used at least three different phone numbers and various electronic accounts to mask his identity.
Prosecutors said following the election, Lemke posted on Facebook "Folks. Be ready for war. Trump has refused to cede. Evidence shows fraud occurred and the Supreme Court cases will be successful. We blockchained and watermarked ballots in 16 states. Trump will prevail."
Authorities said Lemke also made claims to be a retired Alameda County sheriff's deputy on Facebook, which officials with the Sheriff's Office said were completely false.
As the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was taking place, prosecutors said Lemke sent threatening texts to a journalist's family, saying the journalist's words "are putting you and your family at risk."
"We are nearby, armed and ready. Thousands of us are active/retired law enforcement, military, etc. That's how we do it," he went on to say.
Lemke made similar threats to the brother of a member of Congress, which included a picture of a home in the same neighborhood where the brother lived.
"Robert Lemke, refusing to accept the result of the 2020 presidential election, sent messages threatening dozens of victims, including journalists, elected officials, and their families, for the perceived offense of stating the facts," U.S. attorney Damian Williams said in a statement Monday.
"Rather than attempting to effect change through the lawful forms of expression that all of us Americans still enjoy, Lemke sought to quell freedom of expression, to intimidate and instill fear in others by threats of violence," Williams went on to say.
Along with prison time, prosecutors said Lemke was also sentenced to three years of supervised release.
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