Judge Drops the Hammer on Man Who Threatened Congresswoman

(NationRise.com) – The Department of Justice recently revealed that US District Judge Gary Klausner sentenced a Texas man named Michael Gaherty to 33 months in prison and a fine of $10,000 for threatening California Democratic Representative Maxine Waters.

In a press release, the agency said that the 61-year-old man from Houston made the threats through numerous phone calls, explaining that the motive behind each of the threats was racial. It added that authorities applied a “hate-crime enhancement” to Klausner’s sentence.

Gaherty already pleaded guilty to a count of threatening a United States official back on January 29, as he admitted to threatening to assault and assassinate Waters on four occasions in 2022, between August and November. The Justice Department detailed that the Texas man’s threats intended to interfere, intimidate, and impede the congresswoman while she was engaging in her official duties.

Prosecutors determined that the four voicemails sent by Gaherty to her district office contained “misogynistic” and “racist” language as well as profanities and violent threats. In one of his voicemails, Gaherty allegedly told Waters that she had “better move” as soon as possible as he and another group of men had a “contract” to kill her.

While authorities warned Gaherty to stop sending the voicemails in October 2022, he eventually left two others a couple of weeks later, telling Waters that he wasn’t making any threats but a promise. Police eventually arrested the 61-year-old man from Houston in April 2023.

Gaherty’s lawyer, Joseph Vinas, had requested on numerous occasions a home confinement sentence for his client, as he has alleged that the Texas man made the threatening voicemails because of his severe “mental illnesses.” On May 28, Vinas said in a memo that Gaherty was nothing more than the victim of violence, as he was brutally shot in his right hip in June 2016 while washing his vehicle. The lawyer said that the shooting caused his client physical and mental harm.

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