Federal authorities on Thursday charged a California man with threatening to kill Boston Globe employees for its role leading this month’s defense of press freedoms by hundreds of US news organizations against attacks by President Donald Trump.
Prosecutors said Robert Chain, 68, called journalists “the enemy of the people” in a series of threatening phone calls that echoed the same words Trump has used to criticize unflattering news coverage through his campaign and years in office.
“Anyone – regardless of political affiliation – who puts others in fear for their lives will be prosecuted by this office,” Andrew Lelling, the US attorney for Massachusetts and a Trump appointee, said in a statement disclosing the arrest.
“In a time of increasing political polarization, and amid the increasing incidence of mass shootings, members of the public must police their own political rhetoric. Or we will,” he said.
Prosecutors said Chain, who lives in of Encino, California, was arrested on Wednesday charged with one count of making threatening communications to interstate commerce. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.