When it comes to the court, you can count on your words being taken seriously. At least, that's what happened to the man who threatened to kill Maxine Waters. Anthony Scott Lloyd, a 45-year-old man from San Pedro, California, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of threatening a U.S. official on Monday and could now face up to 10 years in prison.
Lloyd was indicted in November by a federal grand jury after making a call to Waters' office that reportedly contained numerous expletives and death threats and described her using racist epithets. At first, he pleaded not guilty to threatening Waters, though the phone message was quite explicit, according to court records cited by CBS Local: “If you continue to make threats toward the president, you’re going to wind up dead, Maxine, ’cause we’ll kill you.”
CBS Local reported at the time that when Lloyd was speaking with a federal agent, he said that he was a "pro-Trump supporter" and that he had not actually meant Waters any harm. His initial plea in December was not guilty, but he has since entered into a plea agreement, and while he could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, the Los Angeles Times reported that his actual sentence will likely end up being much lighter.
Waters, a loud voice on the left side of the Congressional aisle, has drawn a lot of criticism from Trump and his supporters. Trump has called her a "low IQ individual" and insulted her intelligence on multiple occasions, and Waters has responded by calling his attacks racist in nature.
"I certainly expected him to come out with some racist remarks about me," Waters said on AM Joy, after Trump made the aforementioned comments at the annual Gridiron Dinner. "So he did exactly what I expected him to do."
On a different occasion, Waters struck back by calling Trump a "con man."
“Everybody knows who this bully is,” Waters told Chris Hayes on MSNBC. “This is a dishonorable human. He is a con man. He came to this job as a con man. I call him ‘Don the Con Man.’”
She's also made stronger comments against the president, including the remark that Lloyd was likely referring to in his threat to her. At a gala dinner for LGBT youth, Waters said that "with this kind of inspiration, I will go and take out Trump tonight."
When asked about it later in an interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN, Waters emphasized that she didn't mean to threaten the president with physical harm.
"That's absolutely ridiculous ... that a 79-year-old grandmother who is a congresswoman and who has been in Congress and politics all these years doing any harm," she told Cuomo. "The only harm I might be doing to the president is I want him impeached."
"Everybody knows that I'm on the front lines not talking about harming anybody but I am talking about impeachment," Waters went on, in the same interview on CNN. "I don't think this President should be representing our country. ... He creates controversy, he cannot get along with our members of Congress, and I'm going to continue my efforts to impeach him."
Lloyd, in his appearance at court, struck a more apologetic tone. "Mr. Lloyd is mortified by his conduct, which had nothing to do with Congresswoman Waters and everything to do with the circumstances of his own life at the time of the incident," Lloyd's lawyer said in a written statement, according to the Los Angeles Times. "With this guilty plea, he offers an unequivocal apology."