Apr 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Florida man sentenced for making violent threats to Pelosi and AOC

Photo of Nancy Pelosi's side profilie
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

A Florida man was sentenced on Friday to 18 months in prison for making violent threats to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx.

Driving the news: Paul Vernon Hoeffer, 60, pleaded guilty in January to threatening to cut Pelosi's head off "Jihadist style" and calling Ocasio-Cortez to tell her he would "rip her head off," according to Politico.

Details: In a March 2019 call, Hoeffer threatened to come a "long, long way" to rattle Pelosi's head with bullets.

  • Around that time, he called Foxx, who is Black, and used a racial slur to convey that bullets were going to "rattle her brain."
  • In November 2020, he left a recording for Ocasio-Cortez telling her to sleep with one eye open and that she "should have been aborted."
  • Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 3.5 years in prison, but Hoeffer's defense requested leniency, citing his recent diagnosis with an aggressive form of cancer, per Politico

The big picture: Congress members have faced increasing threats in recent years, especially after the Jan. 6 insurrection.

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