- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 30, 2018

A California man was arrested and charged Thursday with threatening employees at the Boston Globe because of the editorial protest they led against President Trump.

Robert Chain called the Globe with threatening messages immediately after they called for other newspapers across the country to join them in denouncing the president, the Justice Department said.

“Anyone — regardless of political affiliation — who puts others in fear for their lives will be prosecuted by this office,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a statement. “In a time of increasing political polarization, and amid the increasing incidence of mass shootings, members of the public must police their own political rhetoric. Or we will.”

According to court documents, Mr. Chain called the paper 14 times and threatened to kill employees who worked there. He described them as “the enemy of the people,” a phrase Mr. Trump commonly uses to criticize the press.

On Aug. 16, the day of the nationwide protest, Mr. Chain specifically told Boston Globe employees he would shoot them in the head that day at 4 p.m., authorities said.

“You’re the enemy of the people, and we’re going to kill every f–king one of you,” Mr. Chain said in a recording of the Aug. 16 phone call. “Hey, why don’t you call the F, why don’t you call Mueller, maybe he can help you out buddy. … I’m going to shoot you in the f–ing head later today, at 4 o’clock.”

Police were stationed at the newsroom in response to the threat.

Mr. Chain is charged with making threatening communications in interstate commerce, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a year of probation and $250,000 fine.

“Today’s arrest of Robert Chain should serve a warning to others, that making threats is not a prank, it’s a federal crime,” said Harold Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division. “All threats are taken seriously, as we never know if the subject behind the threat intends to follow through with their actions.”

Over 350 newspapers answered the Boston Globe’s call to protest Mr. Trump’s rhetoric in their editorials on Aug 16. The publications ranged from major national papers such as The New York Times and The Denver Post to small local papers. International outlets such as British newspaper The Guardian also joined the protest.

“Journalists are not classified as fellow Americans, but rather ‘The enemy of the people.’ This relentless assault on the free press has dangerous consequences,” The Globe wrote.

Mr. Trump slammed the Boston Globe because of the protest and accused it of being “in collusion with other papers on free press.”

He also criticized the media as a whole, declaring it to be an “opposition party.”

The nationwide demonstration came about a month after a man fatally shot five employees at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. While the accused gunman had a longstanding grudge against the Gazette, many connect the violence with the president’s rhetoric.

Despite the backlash, Mr. Trump has not backed down from his fight with the media, again calling them “the enemy of the people” and taking his frustrations out on CNN and NBC specifically Thursday morning.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide