Man Charged With Threatening Adam Schiff Said He “Likely Was Upset” by Fox News Segment

The expletive-laden phone call to Schiff’s Capitol Hill office was kind of terrifying.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), walks to the Senate Chamber inside at the U.S. Capitol. ritten questions from Senators on Wednesday. Mark Wilson/Getty

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After House Democrats introduced an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on September 24 for allegedly abusing power to dig up dirt on former Vice President and 2020 candidate Joe Biden, Fox News, not surprisingly, responded with a torrent of rhetorical attacks against the Democrats generally and the House leadership in particular. Network stars Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson closely interrogated the motives of Democratic leaders, like speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-CA), accusing Democrats of being in a state of “hysteria.”

As the political storm became more intense over the following days, one Arizona viewer allegedly decided to act. According to Arizona District Court documents and reporting from The Informant, “[o]n or about October 1, 2019,” Jan Peter Meister, a Tucson resident and convicted sex offender, picked up the phone, dialed Schiff’s Capitol Hill office, and left a profanity-laden voicemail:

“Go fuck your mother, you son of a bitch cause I’m gonna fucking blow your brains out you fucking piece of shit mother, fucker, you’re a fucking piece of shit. You fucking piece of shit mother fucker. Yeah watch. I’m gonna fuck your asshole you piece of shit son of a bitch. Yeah come get me. I guarantee I’ll fuck your brains out.”

During Meister’s subsequent arrest October 25, law enforcement agents found two pistols, one rifle and about 800 rounds of ammunition—weapons he wasn’t legally allowed to own because of his prior felony convictions. Between the threatening phone call and the charge of  unlawfully possessing weapons, Meister faces two felony counts and is pleading not guilty to both of them. He remains incarcerated, with a trial date slated for February 11.

A motion submitted by his lawyers requesting that the two charges be tried separately characterized Meister as a frequent Fox News viewer with an aversion to Democrats. According to the motion, when confronted by law enforcement at his arrest, “He told them that he watches Fox News and likely was upset at something that he saw on the news.” Though Meister said the phone call was “out of character” and apologized, he also declared that he “strongly dislikes the Democrats, and feels they are to blame for the country’s political issues.” 

The indictment is available here:

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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