After multiple arrests and hours of chanting, protesters kept up their fight even after the newly sworn justice, Brett Kavanaugh, left the Supreme Court.
NEW YORK – A Long Island man was arrested Friday on charges he made phone threats to assault and kill two U.S. senators who supported the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Ronald DeRisi, 74, allegedly left expletive-filled phone messages to the senators, whose names were not released in a federal complaint in support of an arrest warrant that was unsealed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. The senators do not represent New York, the filing said.
In a message left for one of the senators on Sept. 27, prosecutors alleged in the complaint, DeRisi said he had a “present” for the Washington lawmaker: “It’s a nine-millimeter. Side of your … skull.”
The suspect concluded by saying “Yeah, Kavanaugh – I don’t think so,” according to prosecutors.
In an Oct. 6 message left for the second senator, prosecutors alleged, DeRisi stated: “you better pray this guy don’t get in.”
Less than 90 minutes later, prosecutors alleged, DeRisi left follow-up message in which he said: “I’m gonna get you.”
After the Senate confirmed Kavanaugh’s nomination, DeRisi allegedly called the second senator’s office again.
This time, he said: “Thanks to you …. we now have a sexual predator on the Supreme Court,” and added: “we will proceed to correct it,” the complaint charged.
DeRisi left more than 10 threatening messages, prosecutors alleged.
Federal investigators identified DeRisi through telephone records and voice samples, according to prosecutors.
DeRisi was arrested in Smithtown, where he lives, and taken into custody. He was scheduled to appear in federal court later Friday afternoon.
After his arrest, U.S. Capitol Police executed a search warrant and seized the cellular phone that federal investigators said DeRisi used to make the threatening calls, authorities said.
The nomination of Kavanaugh by President Donald Trump sparked a political battle that deepened the nation’s divisions.
Christine Blasey Ford, a psychologist and professor in California, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers at neighboring high schools in the Washington suburbs of Maryland.
Kavanaugh angrily denied the allegations before the committee.
Supporters of both Kavanaugh and Ford staged vigils and protests in support of their causes.
Kavanaugh was confirmed to the court on a largely party-line vote.
“The First Amendment – the pinnacle of American achievement – protects debate, disagreement and dissent, not death threats,” Richard Donoghue, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement after the charges against DeRisi were unsealed.
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