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February 21, 2024

Texas woman sentenced to 3 years in prison for death threats to judge in Trump’s documents case

Texas woman sentenced to 3 years in prison for death threats to judge in Trump’s documents case

A Texas woman accused of making death threats against the judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case was sentenced Friday to three years in prison.

Tiffani Shea Gish, of Houston, was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release, the Justice Department said in a news release.

“Holding Tiffani Gish accountable for her threats to assassinate a federal judge sends a strong message that we have no tolerance for those — who often hide behind a far-off keyboard or phone line — seeking to undermine our democratic institutions by threatening the safety of the people who help those same institutions thrive,” U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani said in a statement.

A public defender listed for Gish did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday night.

Gish pleaded guilty in November to one count of using interstate communications with a threat to kidnap or injure, after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors, according to court documents.

That guilty plea came more than a year after Gish’s arrest in Houston in connection with threatening voicemails left for U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, the Trump appointee who is overseeing the case against the former president for his handling of classified material after leaving office.

According to court documents, Gish had admitted to federal marshals that she left messages for Cannon, warning the judge that she was “marked for assassination” and that she planned to shoot her in front of her family.

Friday’s sentencing comes as other judges in cases related to Trump have become targets.

A Texas woman was charged last year in connection with threats to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing Trump’s federal election interference case. Chutkan recently postponed the trial, which was scheduled to begin next month, as Trump appeals rulings that said he is not immune from prosecution.

The classified documents case that Cannon is overseeing is scheduled to go to trial in May.

Trump is accused of willfully retaining national defense information in connection with classified documents that were uncovered at his Mar-a-Lago property more than a year after he left office, and scheming with two co-defendants to delete security video at the property.

Trump and co-defendants Walt Nauta, a top aide, and Carlos De Oliveira, a maintenance supervisor at Mar-a-Lago, have denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In a filing Thursday, special counsel Jack Smith’s team asked Cannon to reconsider an order to turn over unredacted documents that Smith’s team says identify more than two dozen witnesses and threaten their safety and testimony. Prosecutors noted in a separate filing this week that social media threats received by a potential witness in the case are the subject of a federal investigation.

Zoë Richards

Zoë Richards is the evening politics reporter for NBC News.

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