- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 4, 2019

A Florida Republican congressional candidate has denied writing, but is nonetheless defending, the content of a fundraising email that calls for the U.S. government to “hang” Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minnesota Democrat.

The congressional campaign for George Buck — a security consultant hoping to oust Tampa-area Democrat Rep. Charlie Crist — sent out an email promoting a conspiracy theory that Ms. Omar is a spy for the Qatari government, including the message “We should hang these traitors where they stand.”

Mr. Buck’s campaign also took a swipe at Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts in his fundraising pitch. Together with Ms. Omar, the freshmen House Democrats have dubbed themselves The Squad and pushed their party caucus to more aggressively pursue progressive policy aims.

When the Tampa Bay Times asked Mr. Buck Tuesday about the email, he originally said: “That was not me. I did not see that. I would never talk like that.”

In a statement made later, however, Mr. Buck cited the Constitution to defend the content of the email, pointing out how federal law provides that a person convicted of treason may be punished with “death … or [imprisonment] not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000.”

“Anyone who commits treason against the United States should be tried to the full extent of the law,” Mr. Buck said.

Daniella Stella, a GOP candidate running for Ms. Omar’s seat in 2020, was banned on Twitter last week for saying something similar, saying the Minnesota Democrat: “should be tried for #treason and hanged.”

Ms. Omar has received many death threats since taking office, including one from a man who threatened her staff by saying that someone should “put a bullet” in the congresswoman.

The man, Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., pleaded guilty in November to the threats and other charges and faces up to 10 years in prison.

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