Crime

Cases link Trump’s ex-chief of staff, a congressman, Kentucky man guilty of having child porn

John Kelly: From Order to Disorder?

John F. Kelly was brought in to restore order to a chaotic West Wing. But recently, the White House chief of staff has been finding himself at the center of the controversy.
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John F. Kelly was brought in to restore order to a chaotic West Wing. But recently, the White House chief of staff has been finding himself at the center of the controversy.

A Versailles man serving a federal sentence for threatening a congressman over comments about President Trump’s former chief of staff was convicted Wednesday of possessing child pornography.

Scott W. Sulik, 54, could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison after the conviction, according to a news release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

On Jan. 10, 2018, investigators found sexually explicit photos of children on a laptop and smartphone while searching Sulik’s house for evidence of threats he was accused of making toward a U.S. congressman, according to the news release.

Sulik is currently serving 48 months in prison after he pleaded guilty in 2018 to a charge of cyberstalking the congressman. Court records, many of them sealed, do not reveal the name of the congressman, just the initials L.G.

But one document offered key clues to the congressman’s identity. An objection to Sulik’s potential punishment — filed in federal court by Sulik’s attorney — said he was a former Marine who was outraged over L.G.’s criticism of General John Kelly, who was White House chief of staff after leading the Department of Homeland Security.

“According to LG, General Kelly was ‘a disgrace to the uniform he used to wear,’” the defense document said in explaining why Sulik was offended.

Several news outlets, including the Washington Post, reported on the fallout in 2017 after Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., called Kelly “a disgrace to the uniform he used to wear” in the aftermath of his boss, Donald Trump’s, then decision to end “protections” of Dreamers who were illegally brought to the United States by their parents.

Gutiérrez claimed Kelly backed out of an earlier pledge to protect dreamers, the Hill reported.

Sulik’s military background made him particularly offended by such comments about a Marine and a Gold Star family who lost a service member, his defense attorney argued. In 2010, Kelly’s son 1st Lt. Robert Kelly was killed in Afghanistan, according to Marine Times. Kelly was in the Marines for roughly 40 years.

The U.S. attorney in September 2018 said Sulik told the congressman, ”You put your family at risk . . .” ; “. . . I’m threatening you.”; “What are you going to do before I erase you?”; and “Show me anyone who is going to protect you against me . . . .”

Sulik is scheduled to be sentenced on the child pornography charge on May 24, according to the news release.

Morgan Eads covers breaking news for the Lexington Herald-Leader. She is a native Kentuckian who grew up in Garrard County.


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