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“Warnock is going to have a hard time casting votes for communist policies when he’s swinging with the f***ing fish,” Eduard Florea stated, while illegally possessing more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. “Dead men can’t pass sh*t laws . . .” he added.
Free speech does not protect against violent verbal threats, but hate speech is protected.
Florea had joined Parler and posted the threatening messages on the conservative social networking platform.
In response to then-President Donald Trump losing the 2020 Presidential Elections to then-President-elec Joe Biden, Florea posted threatening statements online about killing elected officials, including U.S. Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock. He planned on committing other acts of violence in Washington, D.C. as well.
On January 5, 2021, at 8:40 p.m., Florea posted, “We need to all come to an agreement . . . and go armed . . . and really take back Washington.”
He then added, “Tomorrow may very [well] be the day war kicks off . . .” Florea is a supporter of the Proud Boys, what many believe is a white supremacists hate group.
On Jan. 6, about 100 members of the group and their supporters broke through security barriers at the Capitol. Prosecutors claim the militant group played a pivotal role in helping the larger crowd of pro-Trump protesters violently break into the building where then Vice President Mike Pence was certifying the election results.
As a result of his possession of high-capacity rifle magazines before the siege and for burning a Black Lives Matter banner after a pro-Trump rally turned violent, a Washington, D.C. district court sentenced the group’s leader, Enrique Tarrio, to five months in jail.
While the U.S. Capitol was under siege on January 6, 2021, Florea posted that he intended to travel to Washington, D.C., as part of a group armed with firearms and ready to engage in additional violence.
Florea’s Threatening Statements
- “Mine are ready….I am ready…. we need to regroup outside of DC and attack from all sides… talking to some other guys….I will keep watching for the signal.”
- “I am awaiting my orders…armed and ready to deploy….”
- “Guns cleaned loaded . . . got a bunch of guys all armed and ready to deploy . . . we are just waiting for the word”
- “Me and some guys are gearing up to head in. . . . where are you . . . 3 cars already are en route . . . .all armed.”
- “It’s time to unleash some violence.”
“With today’s guilty plea, Florea admits to threatening the life of a successful candidate for the US Senate and to urging others to take up arms to unleash violence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, to thwart the results of the Presidential election,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Jacquelyn M. Kasulis stated in a news release.
U.S. District Judge Eric R. Komitee sentenced Eduard Florea to 33 months in prison for transmitting threats to injure others, including threats against Senator Raphael Warnock, and for possessing ammunition after having been convicted of a felony.
United States Attorney Breon Peace and FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael J. Driscoll announced Florea’s sentencing.
“With today’s sentence, the defendant faces serious consequences for threatening the life of United States Senator Raphael Warnock as part of his effort to foment violence at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, in connection with attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election,” Peace stated. “This Office is deeply committed to protecting our democratic institutions and preserving our democracy, and will vigorously prosecute those who would undermine our founding principles as a nation by threatening the safety of our elected representatives or those who seek elected office.”