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A jury on Wednesday convicted Stephen J. Taubert of making death threats to former President Barack Obama and California’s Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters.

After the three-day trial, jurors concluded that Taubert selected Obama and Waters because of their race, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement.

SEE ALSO: White Supremacist Steve King Posts Violent Civil War Meme After Trump Brags About ‘Tough’ Supporters

“Taubert was convicted of threatening to kill a former President of the United States, transmitting a threat via interstate commerce, and threatening to murder a member of Congress with intent to impede, interfere with, or retaliate against a member of Congress during and because of her performance of official duties,” the DOJ said.

He now faces up to 20 years in prison: 10 years on the retaliation count and up to five years on each of the other two counts.

The verdict came as President Donald Trump found himself under fire for failing to denounce political violence.

On March 14, Trump tweeted a link to his interview with Breitbart News that was removed by the next morning when people around the world woke up to news of the New Zealand mosque attacks that resulted in at least 50 deaths.

“I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad,” the president told the conservative news outlet.

Trump also came under fire on Sunday morning talk shows for downplaying white supremacist violence.

The 61-year-old Syracuse, New York man made a series of phone calls to congressional offices in 2017 and 2018. In 2017, Taubert called the office of former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat, and said he was going to “hang” Obama. One year later, he called Waters’ office and told an official who answered the phone that he was going to kill the congresswoman and every member of her staff.

Taubert used racial slurs and “vile” language in each phone call, the prosecutor said.

Trump and Waters have disputes that sometimes become hostile. Things flared in June 2018 when Waters added her voice to many others across the globe who criticized Trump for his “zero tolerance” immigration policy, in which migrant children were taken away from their parents at the border with Mexico. Waters called on opponents of the policy to harass Trump administration officials in public. In response, the president tweeted what was viewed by some people as a thinly veiled threat against Waters.

At a July 2018 rally, Waters dared the president’s supporters to shoot her over the escalating dispute.

“Shoot straight because there’s nothing like a wounded animal,” she said boldly at the immigration rally in Los Angeles.


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