After a three-day trial, a jury convicted Stephen Taubert of multiple charges including making threats against a former president, threatening to assault a federal official, and using interstate commerce to make a threat, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Taubert, 51, now faces up to 20 years in prison.
The charges stemmed from a string of phone calls the suspect made to Congressional offices in 2017 and 2018, prosecutors said.
Last year, Taubert called Waters’ office threatening to kill the Black congresswoman and every person on her staff. He also placed a call to then-Sen. Al Franken‘s office in 2017 and said he was going to “hang” Obama at his home, killing him.
In both calls, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Taubert used “vile racial slurs.”
“The jury made specific findings that Taubert selected his victims because of their actual or perceived race, color, and ethnicity,” the office said in a press release, “which provides [an] enhancement under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines for hate-crime motivation.”
The release also noted that members of the offices took the stand,, and that recordings of the calls were played for the jury. Additionally, jurors heard a recorded interview of Taubert making racist remarks and admitting that he had called Waters’ office to “‘terrorize’ her in retaliation for public statements she had made,” the office said.
The Syracuse man faces up to 10 years on the retaliation charge and a maximum of five years on the other two counts.
Taubert is expected to be sentenced July 24.