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Man arrested after threatening to shoot and kill Boston Globe staffers

August 30, 2018

On August 30, 2018, the FBI arrested a man in California who allegedly made repeated threats to kill employees of the Boston Globe newspaper.

Robert Chain allegedly made 12 threatening calls to the Boston Globe newsroom between August 10 and August 17, and two more on August 22.

The calls began on August 10, the same day that the Globe announced a plan for newspapers across the country to simultaneously publish editorials on August 16 standing up for press freedom and criticizing President Trump’s relentless attacks on the press.

During the calls, Chain allegedly threatened to shoot and kill the paper’s employees. He also repeated Trump’s anti-media talking points, referring to the Globe as “the enemy of the people” and “fake news.”

We are going to shoot you motherfuckers in the head, you Boston Globe cocksuckers,” Chain said in an August 13 call, according to court documents. “Shoot every fucking one of you.”

On August 16, Trump attacked the Globe on Twitter, criticizing the paper for “COLLUSION with other papers on free press” and mentioning that it was once purchased by The New York Times company.

Later that day, Chain made another threatening call to the Globe.

You’re the enemy of the people, and we’re going to kill every fucking one of you … I’m going to shoot you in the fucking head later today, at 4 o’clock,” he allegedly said in an August 16 call.

When Chain called the Globe again on August 22, one of the paper’s employees asked Chain why he kept calling and threatening them.

Because you are the enemy of the people, and I want you to go fuck yourself,” he allegedly said. “As long as you keep attacking the President, the duly elected President of the United States, in the continuation of your treasonous and seditious acts, I will continue to [make] threats, harass, and annoy the Boston Globe, owned by The New York Times, the other fake news.”

After reviewing firearms records, the FBI found that Chain owns multiple guns and had purchased a new rifle in May 2018.

Chain is charged with one count of making interstate threats, a federal crime.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected]

April 22, 2019 Update

Chain will plead guilty “to threatening to kill journalists at The Boston Globe over the newspaper’s criticism of President Donald Trump,” according to The Associated Press.

Chain’s attorney said that his client will plead guilty to all counts against him and take responsibility for his actions. A plea hearing is scheduled for May 15.

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