Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has positioned himself as a leading figure among congressional Democrat resistance to President Donald Trump, having first been one of the most outspoken proponents of the debunked Russian collusion theory, followed by his lead role in the impeachment effort.
Schiff’s staunch opposition to Trump has earned him the enmity of many of the president’s supporters, but it appears that at least one man in Arizona took his hatred of Schiff too far and now faces criminal charges for allegedly making a death threat against the congressman, The Hill reported.
Arizona man charged
The man, identified as a previously convicted felon named Jan Peter Meister, is alleged to have called Schiff’s Washington, D.C. office in early October — in the midst of the Schiff-led impeachment inquiry in the House — and left an expletive-filled voice message in which he threatened to “blow [Schiff’s] brains out.”
Meister was eventually indicted on Oct. 23, 2019, and arrested on federal charges of “issuing threats through interstate commerce” as well as “unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,” due to the discovery of several weapons and ammunition during a search of his home.
According to court filings, Meister admitted to calling Schiff after growing angry about reports he had seen on Fox News, though he strenuously denied having any sort of intent or actual plan to carry out his threat against the congressman.
Neither an attorney for Meister nor a spokesperson for Schiff responded to requests for comment from The Hill.
Suspect has criminal past
The Arizona Republic reported in more detail on Meister’s threat, the investigation into his actions, and his past criminal history, not to mention his impending trial, which is scheduled to commence on March 9.
It appears that alcohol may have played a role in Meister’s criminal behavior, as he admitted to investigators that he drank on a regular basis. He was also reportedly “intoxicated” when he was first questioned by law enforcement as well as when he was arrested.
As for the weapons discovered to be in his possession, Meister initially denied owning any, only for police to find two handguns and two rifles along with loaded magazines and extra ammunition in various locations around his home. He eventually admitted to possessing and using the weapons, though he claimed they were owned by his wife.
Notably, however, it appears that, despite his prior criminal record, Meister had his gun rights restored in the state at some point by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge, likely due to the fact that his prior convictions — ranging from assault and DUI to rape — all dated back to the 1980s and 90s, with no additional criminal behavior having occurred since that time.
It should go without saying that regardless of how arrogant, dishonest, or hateful Adam Schiff acts with regard to the president — or anyone else for that matter — making death threats against him is flatly unacceptable and cannot be tolerated as a means of expressing dissent.
If this man really did threaten violence against the congressman, he deserves to be held fully accountable for his actions, if only to send a strong message that discourages similar behavior from others in the future.