Texas Man Sentenced to 33 Months for Threatening U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters

Gaherty Targeted the Congresswoman With Racist and Violent Threats 

A Texas man was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison on Monday for making a series of threatening phone calls to the office of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, who represents California’s 43rd Congressional District.

Brian Michael Gaherty, 61, of Houston, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner, who also imposed a $10,000 fine. The judge applied a hate-crime enhancement, determining that Gaherty targeted Waters because of her race.

Gaherty pleaded guilty on January 29 to one count of threatening a U.S. official.

“Threats to harm or kill elected officials are anathema to our nation’s values and must not – and will not – be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada. “My office and the entire Department of Justice will continue to combat threats against public officials and other attempts to chill democracy.”

In his plea agreement, Gaherty admitted to threatening to assault and murder Waters on four separate occasions in August and November 2022 with the intent to impede, intimidate, and interfere with her official duties.

Gaherty left four voicemails at Waters’ district office in Los Angeles County, each containing violent threats, profanity, and racist and misogynistic language. In August 2022, he threatened to “put a cap” between the congresswoman’s eyes, “cut [her] throat,” and “stomp” her. He warned that she “better move” because he and his “boys in the area” had a “contract” on her life.

Authorities contacted Gaherty and warned him to stop in October 2022, but he continued his threats. In November 2022, he left two more voicemails, stating Waters had “done [expletive] up” by reporting his threats to law enforcement and declaring, “This ain’t no threat. It’s a… promise.” He also threatened to meet Waters “on the street” and “get in [her] face” and reiterated that he and his “crowd” had a contract to “take [her]… out.” He concluded with, “You better watch your back.”

The United States Capitol Police investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Alexander of the Environmental Crimes and Consumer Protection Section.

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