Man charged after profane defence of anti-Trump online post

RALEIGH, N.C. - A heated Facebook exchange over President Donald Trump brought Secret Service agents to a North Carolina man's door. But it wasn't until he made a profane defence of his First-Amendment rights that they slapped him with a criminal charge.

Mark Rosenberg of Lincolnton posted Facebook comments against Trump and another user last November 28, according to federal court documents. The other user then reported what authorities describe as Rosenberg's threatening language about Trump.

When two Secret Service agents came to question Rosenberg in the small city northwest of Charlotte on December 5, he argued about free-speech rights, cursed at them and told them to leave, according to court documents.

The documents say Rosenberg continued to curse "and waved his arms throughout the interview and stated several times that the agents had no business being there." Authorities say he also made more threatening comments toward Trump.

That interaction led to a misdemeanour charge of impeding federal agents, who said Rosenberg displayed "aggressive conduct" toward them.

Rosenberg has agreed to plead guilty to the charge, according to paperwork signed this month by his lawyer. He's scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Charlotte in April.

It wasn't clear what Rosenberg, a registered unaffiliated voter, said in his initial social-media post. His attorney, Mark Foster, declined to say what the post contained or discuss other aspects of the case when reached by phone Thursday.

The Charlotte Observer, which first reported the charge, noted that Rosenberg appears to have deleted the Trump-related comment and many other posts from his account.


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