Man pleads guilty to making more than 12,000 harassing phone calls to members of Congress

A man pleaded guilty in Washington, DC, to making more than 12,000 harassing phone calls to members of Congress as well as threatening to kill a congressional staff member, the Justice Department and US Capitol Police announced Thursday.

New Yorker Ade Salim Lilly, 35, was arrested in Puerto Rico in November and pleaded guilty Thursday to two charges, including interstate communications with a threat to kidnap or injure as well as repeated telephone calls.

The targets of the phone calls were not named in court filings. Authorities say Lilly masked his phone number to trick congressional staff into answering his calls.

“Most of these phone calls were answered by congressional staff members or interns,” the Justice Department said in a statement Thursday. “In some of these telephone calls, Lilly became angry and used vulgar and harassing language towards the individual who answered the phone. Congressional staff repeatedly asked Lilly to refrain from calling. U.S. Capitol Police informed Lilly on multiple occasions that his phone calls were unwanted, and due to a harassing nature, were prohibited by law.”

In one call, authorities said Lilly threatened a staffer, saying: “I will kill you, I am going to run you over, I will kill you with a bomb or grenade.” He also called one member of Congress more than 500 times over two days, authorities said.

CNN has reached out to Lilly’s lawyer for comment.

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