A New York man who supported the extremist group the Proud Boys, pleaded guilty to making violent threats to Senator Raphael Warnock, before and during the Jan. 6 insurrection of the U.S. Capitol, according to the New York Times.
Eduard Florea pleaded guilty to posting violent threats against Warnock, who had just won a runoff election in Georgia for the Senate and was later sworn in on Jan. 20.
Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, released a statement denouncing the act of threatening public officials.
“With today’s guilty plea, Florea admits to threatening the life of a successful candidate for the U.S. Senate and to urge others to take up arms to unleash violence at the Capitol,” her statement read. “This office is deeply committed to protecting our democratic institutions and to using all available tools to preserve the public safety, uphold the rule of law and support the peaceful transfer of power.
Warnock, who also is the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, won in a Georgia runoff election last year and became the first Black senator in the history of the state.
Court documents show Florea’s violent rhetoric leading up to the swearing-in of the new congress.
“Warnock is going to have a hard time casting votes for communist policies when he’s swinging with the fish,” Florea wrote on Parlor, a platform popular with conservatives.
“Dead men can’t pass [expletive] laws,” he added, also mentioning “definitely slicing a throat” during the coming insurgency.
As the riot took place, Florea shared messages with other far-right insurrectionists who sought to topple the Capitol and attack sitting politicians, according to the New York Post.
“I am ready,” he wrote on Parlor. “We need to regroup outside of DC and attack from all sides … talking to some other guys … I will keep watching for the signal.”
“It’s time to unleash some violence,” the Proud Boy added.
On January 12, federal agents arrived at Florea’s home in Queens, where they found over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, swords, hatchets, and nearly 80 military-style combat knives. According to The New York Times, Florea had already been convicted of illegally possessing an AR-15 and a semiautomatic shotgun back in 2014, rendering his recent possession of ammunition illegal.
Florea will be sentenced on November 29 in New York.