TX woman sentenced to prison for threatening judge in Trump documents case

February 11, 2024

A Texas woman has just received a sentence of three years in prison for issuing assassination threats to federal Judge Aileen Cannon, who is currently overseeing the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump, as The Hill reports.

According to a press release from the Department of Justice, 50-year-old Tiffani Shea Gish, also known as Evelyn Salt, pleaded guilty back in November to the use of interstate communications to threaten, kidnap or injure, and has just learned her fate.

As The Hill explained, Gish left a series of harassing and threatening voicemail messages for Cannon at the court's chambers in September 2022, and the communications contained Gish's assertions that she had been part of military combat units and was therefore “familiar with weapons of war.”

According to the outlet, Gish declared that Cannon would “get a bullet in the head.” a threat that she repeated in separate calls.

She also reportedly stated that she had arranged for snipers to visit Cannon's house and for a bomb to be detonated at the residence.

As a result of her conduct, U.S. District Judge David Hittner sentenced Gish to 37 months in federal prison as well as a subsequent three months under conditions of supervised release.

During Gish's sentencing hearing, the court was presented with additional evidence regarding mental health problems that have plagued the defendant and that she had a history of issuing threats to other governmental agencies.

Hittner remarked on the concerns he had for public safety and his duty to safeguard members of the judiciary.

U.S. Attorney Alamdar Hamdani echoed those sentiments, declaring, “Upholding the rule of law is one of the main priorities of the Department of Justice, and that means protecting public servants from violence.”

“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,” Hamdani continued.

Cannon's handling of the Trump documents case has drawn criticism from the left in recent days, particularly in light of her decision to delay the deadline for certain pre-trial motions and also to make public the identities of witnesses in the government's case against the former president.

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance has been especially biting in her commentary on those decision, saying, “Perhaps we'd view any one of them, on their own, as a judicial aberration. But the pattern of ruling upon ruling that is out of the legal mainstream and results in delay well past the point where this case should have been ready for trial in something that shouldn't be ignored.”

“Judges should not put their fingers on the scales of justice either for or against a defendant or any other party. Here, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the scales are being tipped,” Vance said, in rhetoric that could arguably run the risk of inflaming the passions of someone like Gish.

Notably, the Gish case follows on the heels of the arrest of another Texas resident who stands accused of threatening the life of U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is currently presiding over Trump's election interference case in Washington, D.C.