Pennsylvania man sentenced for making death threats against congressman, impersonating former president’s family

A Pennsylvania man was just sentenced to spend nearly two years in federal prison after having pleaded guilty to two separate crimes — making threats against a sitting member of Congress and committing fraud by way of impersonating a family member of a former president, the Daily Caller reported.

That man, 23-year-old Joshua Hall of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, was ordered by a federal judge in New York to serve 20 months in prison plus an additional three years of supervised release for his convictions.

Threat against a congressman

According to a press release from the Justice Department’s Southern District of New York, Hall faced sentencing on Monday in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods after having previously pleaded guilty to a single count of making interstate communications with a threat to injure as well as a separate count of wire fraud.

With regard to the threat, that was made toward an unnamed sitting member of Congress on August 29, 2022, in which Hall made multiple and repeated vows to assault and kill the politician to three different staffers in the member’s office.

Hall reportedly said that “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 s**t out of’ the Congressman and that he would find the Congressman wherever he was and hurt him,” the release continued.

Fraudulently raising funds

As for the separate fraud offense, that reportedly occurred between 2019 and 2020 and involved Hall defrauding hundreds of victims to raise funds under false pretenses by fraudulently portraying himself on social media as a member of then-President Donald Trump’s family.

He created and used multiple social media accounts bearing the names and images of Trump family members, including the former president’s youngest son Barron, in order to amass followers and solicit donations to a fictitious political organization that was ostensibly supporting Trump’s re-election campaign.

Though it is unclear exactly how much Hall was able to raise in that fraudulent manner, the DOJ release stated that he obtained “thousands of dollars from hundreds of victims” that he then used “for his own personal living expenses” instead of supporting the Trump campaign.

No excuses for this sort of unacceptable behavior

According to New York’s Inner City Press, the unnamed member of Congress who was threatened in this case has since been identified as Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA).

Hall claimed to have just been released from a detox center in New York City — and was likely drunk at the time — when he found Swalwell’s office number on social media and gave it a call, at which point he issued the threats of death and violence for the staffers to convey to their boss.

Federal sentencing guidelines called for Hall to serve a combined sentence for the two charges of 27 to 33 months, and indeed, the federal prosecutors asked the judge for a 27-month sentence and shared a victim impact statement, presumably from Swalwell’s office, that reportedly asked for “no mercy and the maximum sentence.”

Conversely, Hall’s defense attorney had requested just six months in prison and no additional time or punishment based on the undisclosed details of a non-public pre-sentencing report that followed Hall’s agreement to plead guilty to the two counts.

To be sure, Rep. Swalwell is a terrible politician, but neither he nor his staffers deserve to receive death threats. Likewise, there are already enough grifters out there trying to make a buck for themselves in connection with former President Trump without the need for people like Hall to impersonate the president’s family and defraud his supporters.

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