Woman learns her sentence for making death threats to judge in Trump docs case

A Texas woman who admitted to making death threats against the federal judge overseeing the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump learned her fate on Friday.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner sentenced Tiffani Shea Gish (aka Evelyn Salt) to 37 months in federal prison, followed “immediately” by three years of supervised release, according to a press release from the Justice Department.

In November 2023, U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani announced that Gish had pleaded guilty to interstate communications with a threat to kidnap or injure.

According to the 2023 news release, she “left three threatening voicemails on the chamber’s telephone of a U.S. district judge from Florida.”

That judge was U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, the Trump-appointed judge who is overseeing the former president’s classified documents case, NBC News reports.

“In the messages, Gish claimed to be a member of several military combat units, trained and familiar with weapons of war,” the Justice Department said in 2023.

“In the first message, she said the victim was marked for [assassination] and would get a bullet in the head,” the DOJ continued. “Gish then reiterated the same threat in two subsequent messages and used expletives when adding that she had ordered snipers and a bomb to the victim’s house and would throw a bullet to the victim’s head.”

“As prosecutors, our mission is to always protect the rule of law, and that necessarily means protecting the judges who interpret and apply the law,” Hamdani said at the time. “Tiffani Gish’s threats to assassinate a federal judge have no place in a republic whose strength comes from the rule of law.”

“As a result,” he added, “my office and its public servants have no tolerance for those like Gish who threaten judges and in turn seek to undermine our system of government.”

At the sentencing hearing, the court “heard additional evidence about mental health problems and that Gish had previously left threatening messages for various government agencies,” Friday’s press release reveals. “In handing down the sentence, Judge Hittner noted that he was concerned for the safety of the public and protecting the judiciary.”

“Upholding the rule of law is one of the main priorities of the Department of Justice, and that means protecting public servants from violence,” Hamdani said following the sentencing. “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.”

“Gish will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future,” according to the Justice Department.

Meanwhile, Judge Cannon ruled on Tuesday that some discovery material in the classified documents case would be disclosed against the wishes of Special Counsel Jack Smith.

Cannon reminded Smith “of the strong presumption of public access in criminal proceedings.”

“Following an independent review of the Motion and the full record, the Court determines, with limited exceptions as detailed below, that the Special Counsel has not set forth a sufficient factual or legal basis warranting deviation from the strong presumption in favor of public access to the records at issue,” Cannon wrote.

Smith sought to keep under seal information that reveals the identity of persons identifying potential witnesses or it could lead to “witness safety and intimidation” concerns.

“Although substantiated witness safety and intimidation concerns can form a valid basis for overriding the strong presumption in favor of public access,” Cannon wrote, “the Special Counsel’s sparse and undifferentiated Response fails to provide the Court with the necessary factual basis to justify sealing.”

“Notwithstanding the conventional filing procedure outlined in Local Rule 5.4(c), there shall be no filing under seal of any unclassified material in this case unless the party seeking to make a filing under full or partial seal first has sought and obtained permission from the Court through a motion for leave to file under seal,” the judge ruled. “The motion for leave shall be filed publicly except in clear and supported cases of risk to personal safety or national security.”

Melissa Fine


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