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Man arrested for threatening to kill Schiff, Schumer over impeachment

ABC News logo ABC News 2/19/2020
Sylvia Garcia, Adam Schiff standing in front of a crowd: Rep. Adam Schiff, center, walks after speaking to the media in Washington, Jan. 27, 2020. © Joshua Roberts/Reuters, FILE Rep. Adam Schiff, center, walks after speaking to the media in Washington, Jan. 27, 2020.

A Western New York man was arrested Wednesday on charges that he threatened to kill Rep. Adam Schiff and Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Salvatore Lippa, 57, of Greece, New York, was charged with threatening to assault and murder a federal official on account of the performance of their official duties.

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According to the criminal complaint, on Jan. 23, Schiff's Washington, D.C., office received a threatening voicemail that included a death threat.

Lippa started the threatening message by calling the congressman "Schiff, Shifty Schiff," invoking the nickname used by President Donald Trump for Schiff, the lead House manager during Trump's impeachment trial.

Almost two weeks later, on Feb. 4, Schumer received a threatening voicemail at his New York office that also contained a death threat.

In the threat, Lippa paired Schumer with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying "Hey, Schumer, you and Nancy Pelosi are..." according to the complaint.

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When questioned by U.S Capitol Police, Lippa admitted to making the threatening calls to Schiff and Schumer because he said he was upset about the impeachment proceedings, prosecutors said.

Chuck Schumer wearing a suit and tie: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks at a press conference in Washington, Jan. 21, 2020. © AFP via Getty Images, FILE Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks at a press conference in Washington, Jan. 21, 2020.

“The rights secured in our Constitution carry with them certain responsibilities. When it comes to the First Amendment, that responsibility includes the obligation not to threaten to kill others,” U.S Attorney James Kennedy said in a statement.

Lippa is due in federal court in Rochester on Wednesday afternoon. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

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