A California man, Eugene Huelsman, 59, was sentenced to six months of house arrest on Thursday for threatening to kill Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and his family members.
Coincidentally, Huelsman made the threat three days after protestors entered the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. “I’m going to put a bullet in you,” said Huelsman. “I’m going to put a bullet in one of your f—ing kids too,” he continued in the vile voicemail, according to Politico. Moreover, Huelsman said he hoped the firebrand Republican “died in a shallow grave,” the outlet added.
Furthermore, U.S. District Court Judge T. Kent Wetherell II, an appointee of President Donald Trump, added five years of probation and a $10,000 fine for the unlawful threats. Upon the investigation, U.S. Capitol Police found a track record of similar behavior by Huelsman. The U.S. Secret Service conducted an inquiry about a threat that Huelsman made against the family member of a former president.
Huelsman is a five-time Emmy nominee for his work as a camera operator on the “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” However, threatening to kill members of congress is not show business. “Words matter,” said Sherri E. Onks, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division, in a DOJ press release. “Everyone has the right to express their opinion, but when you harass, intimidate, and threaten violence against others, it’s a federal crime that will not be tolerated,” she added.
Five years ago, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was shot by an alleged Bernie Sanders supporter during a congressional baseball game practice. Scalise survived, but the memory is ingrained as political violence increases against conservatives.
Hopefully, according to Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, Huelsman’s sentence will serve as a “significant deterrent to those who would threaten violence against others rather than engage in lawful debate.”