PA Man Pleads Guilty for Threatening to Kill Congressman
A Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty for fraudulently posing as a family member of former President Donald J. Trump, pleaded guilty last week for threatening Congressman Eric Swalwell of California earlier this year.
Joshua Hall, of Cumberland County on Friday agreed to plead guilty for making threats to kill Swalwel earlier this year.
Hall previously plead guilty to wire fraud for impersonating family members of the then-President of the United States on social media to fraudulently raise funds for a fictitious political organization .
At the time Hall made the threats he was on pretrial release pending sentencing for the fraud scheme.
On or about August 29, 2022, Hall placed a series of telephone calls from in or around Yonkers, New York, to the California office of a member of the United States Congress (the “Congressman”). During those telephone calls, Hall conveyed threats to kill the Congressman to at least three different members of the Congressman’s staff (“Staff Member-1,” “Staff Member-2,” and “Staff Member-3”), according to federal court records.
On a telephone call with Staff Member-1 and Staff Member-2, Hall said, in substance and in part, he had a lot of AR-15s; that he wanted to shoot the Congressman; that he intended to come to the Congressman’s office with firearms; and that if he saw the Congressman, he would kill him. He further stated, in substance and in part, that he wanted to “beat the shit out of” the Congressman and that he would find the Congressman wherever he was and hurt him. On a telephone call with Staff Member-3, HALL stated, in substance and in part, that he intended to come to the Congressman’s office to kill the Congressman with firearms, prosecutors said.
Hall was arrested the same day the threats were made and was subsequently ordered detained pending sentencing, according to court records.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “…Hall made terrifying threats to the staff of a United States Congressman whom he disliked rather than attempting to effect change through any of the freedoms of expression that all Americans enjoy. These threats of violence endanger our public officials and thwart common decency, which is why this Office will continue to prosecute crimes like those committed by Joshua Hall.”
The Mechanicsburg man pleaded guilty to one count of making interstate communications with a threat to injure, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He previously plead guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, officials said.
The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the United States Capitol Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and thanked the City of Yonkers Police Department for their assistance.
Hall’s pleading was before United States District Judge Gregory H. Woods, before whom sentencing will be held in December
The case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit and General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Alexandra S. Messiter and Robert B. Sobelman are in charge of the prosecution.