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Press Release

Greece Man Pleads Guilty To Threatening To Kill Senator Charles Schumer And Congressman Adam Schiff

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Salvatore Lippa II, 57, of Greece, NY, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. to two counts of threatening a United States official. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean C. Eldridge, who is handling the case, on January 23, 2020, the defendant called the Washington D.C. office of Congressman Adam Schiff at approximately 8:20 p.m. and left a threatening voicemail message. Lippa threatened to assault and murder Congressman Schiff. Part of the message stated, “I dare you to come to New York, because I will put a bullet in your (expletive) forehead.” The defendant admitted that he made the threatening call because he was upset about impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

On February 4, 2020, Lippa made a similar call to the Albany, New York office of Senator Charles Schumer. The defendant once again left a voicemail message threatening to assault and murder Senator Schumer. The defendant stated: “let me tell you something, somebody wants to assassinate you, I'm going to be the driver.” Lippa admitted that at the time of that call, the Senate was set to vote on the Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump brought by the House of Representatives on the next day, February 5, 2020.

“Free speech protection under the First Amendment ends where true threats begin,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “This Office will not hesitate to prosecute those who make such threats.”

The plea is the result of an investigation by the United States Capitol Police, under the direction of Chief Steven A. Sund, with assistance from the Greece Police Department, under the direction of Chief Patrick D. Phelan, and the United States Marshals Service, under the direction of Marshal Charles Salina.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 1, 2020, at 10 a.m. before Judge Geraci.

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Updated June 8, 2020