Police arrested a California man over his violent threats against employees of the Boston Globe newspaper made after the editorial response to political attacks on the media, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a release on Thursday.
Robert Chain, 68, of Encino has been charged with one count of “making threatening communications in interstate commerce.” He will be later transferred to Boston.
“Everyone has a right to express their opinion, but threatening to kill people, takes it over the line and will not be tolerated,” Harold Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division, said in the release.
He noted that all threats have been taken seriously since it is not known who may follow through with their actions.
Earlier this month, the Boston Globe coordinated the #EnemyOfNone campaign to address a growing sense of unease that President Donald Trump’s anti-media rhetoric is harmful to a free press and may even incite violence against journalists.
The coordinated effort came amid Trump’s ongoing claims of “fake news” from media outlets that publish unfavorable articles and calling mainstream media outlets the “enemy.”
Court documents said that after the campaign announcement, Chain began making threatening calls to the Boston Globe’s newsroom.
“In the calls, Chain referred to the Globe as ‘the enemy of the people’ and threatened to kill newspaper employees,” the release said.
In total, the individual made approximately 14 threatening phone calls between August 10 and 22, according to the Justice Department.
Chain’s charge provides for a sentence of no greater than five years, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.