WASHINGTON — A man who threatened to kill Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has pleaded guilty, according to authorities.
Patrick Carlineo, 55, of Addison, New York, entered the guilty plea before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci for threatening to assault and murder the freshman congresswoman and for being a felon in possession of firearms, according to a statement released Monday, Nov. 18, by the Department of Justice.
The plea stems from a March call that Carlineo made to Omar's Washington, D.C., office. "Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood?" he said to a member of Omar's staff in that call, according to a complaint filed earlier this year. "Why are you working for her, she's a [expletive] terrorist. Somebody ought to put a bullet in her skull." The staff member remembered Carlineo saying, "I'll put a bullet in her [expletive] skull," the complaint said.
Carlineo made the call, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York, because he hates the idea that people he perceives as radical Muslims are part of the U.S. government and because of his belief that Omar supports Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Carlineo also believed that Omar's election to Congress was illegitimate, authorities said.
He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but Omar wrote an open letter to Geraci requesting that he refrain from sentencing Carlineo to a long prison term and a large fine.
Carlineo needs compassion and restorative justice that will allow him to understand the consequences of his actions and to make amends, she wrote.
An investigation of Carlineo, conducted by the U.S. Capitol Police's Threat Assessment Section and the FBI, prompted an interview with him at his home a week after his call to Omar's office, according to the complaint.
Carlineo told an FBI special agent that "if our forefathers were still alive, they'd put a bullet in her head," the complaint stated.
He told investigators that he was a President Trump-loving patriot who "hates radical Muslims" in the government, according to the document.
Carlineo told FBI agents that he had a shotgun and a .22 caliber firearm at his home that he claimed belonged to his girlfriend but later admitted to belonged to him, according to the complaint.
In April, authorities uncovered a more expansive array of Carlineo's firearms that included three rifles, two shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at his home, according to the officials. Carlineo had a 1998 conviction for criminal mischief, which barred him from legally owning firearms.
Carlineo's sentencing before Geraci is scheduled for Feb. 14.
Omar is one of the first Muslim women elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, and she has been the target of many Islamophobic comments since taking office. In September, Trump retweeted a post by a comedian that claimed Omar had been "partying" and "celebrating" the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The president commented that Omar was "the new face of the Democrat Party."
Omar replied that Trump was spreading lies and that she had been attending an event to celebrate black women in Congress.
The comedian, Terrence Williams, has since deleted the post.
This article was written by Lateshia Beachum, a reporter for The Washington Post.