By Jan Wolfe
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A New York man received an 18-month prison sentence on Monday for threatening to kill the judge who handled the criminal case against Michael Flynn, an aide to former President Donald Trump.
U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden said during a court hearing that the sentence reflected the “despicable” nature of the death threat made by the defendant, Frank Caporusso, who is in his early 50s.
According to Caporusso’s guilty plea with prosecutors, in May 2020 he called the chambers of U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, the federal judge who handled the Flynn case, and left a 30-second, expletive-laden voicemail.
“You will not be safe,” the voicemail said. “A hot piece of lead will cut through your skull.” He then threatened to kill Sullivan and members of his staff if the judge did not quit the case.
McFadden said during Monday’s court hearing that he did not think Caporusso, an electronics salesman who said he has struggled with alcohol abuse, intended to carry out the threat.
Flynn was charged as part of former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 U.S. presidential election won by Trump.
Flynn, a retired Army general, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about interactions he had with Russia’s ambassador to the United States in January 2017. Flynn later sought to withdraw the plea, arguing that prosecutors duped him into a plea agreement. Trump later pardoned him.
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