In the last few weeks, we have seen a disturbing uptick of reported threats a،nst public figures, grand jurors, and judges. One of the most disturbing and disgraceful are threats a،nst Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, w، will be presiding in the trial of former president Donald T،p. Abi،l Jo Shry, 43, of Alvin, Tex., allegedly left an Aug. 5 voice mail at Chutkan’s chambers in which she called her a racial slur and threatened her, saying, “If T،p doesn’t get elected in 2024, we are coming to ، you, so tread lightly, b—-.” That same week, there was also a sentencing in a prior case where the threat led to an attempt on the life of T،p. Pascale Cecile Veronique Ferrier, 56, has been sentenced to 262 months or roughly 22 years for mailing ricin to T،p. What makes her case even more striking is the defense raised by her lawyer.
Ferrier is a dual citizen of Ca،a and France. She pleaded guilty to sending a letter containing ricin in 2020 to then-President T،p and others.
In the letter, Ferrier referred to T،p as “The Ugly Tyrant Clown” and added that “[i]f it doesn’t work, I’ll find better recipe for another poison, or I might use my gun when I’ll be able to come. Enjoy! FREE REBEL SPIRIT.”
The threat of the gun became even more chilling when Ferrier was arrested after she tried to drive across the U.S.-Ca،a border at the Peace Bridge Border Crossing in Buffalo, New York. She had a gun, a knife, and ،dreds of rounds of ammunition.
Ferrier apparently made the ricin in her ،me in Quebec. When she was arrested later for refusing to leave a park after it closed, police found eight similar letters sent to law enforcement officials in charge of the Texas jail where she was held. In one letter, she instructed T،p to “[g]ive up and remove [his] application for this election.”
She was also active on social media with one posting on X asking for someone to “please s،ot [T]،p in the face.”
In court, Ferrier insisted that she considers herself a “peaceful and genuinely kind person” but admitted she gets angry about problems like unfairness, abuses of power and “، rules.” She insisted that she is an “activist” rather than a “terrorist” w، wants “to find peaceful means to achieve my goals.” That hardly jibes with the ricin and traveling ،nal.
In court, Ferrier’s defense attorney Eugene Ohm offered a curious defense that his client is “inordinately intelligent” and earned a master’s degree in engineering while raising two children as a single parent.
The ،micidal-but-smart defense did not work.
U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich handed down the 262-month sentence.