KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A southwest Missouri man is facing federal charges for threatening to kill Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II.
A day after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, federal officials say 63-year-old Kenneth Hubert from Marionville, Missouri, threatened to kill Cleaver.
“The individuals who he would like to hang, one is African American and one is Jewish. I don’t know. Maybe that’s a coincidence. I don’t think so,” Cleaver said.
Federal authorities say in 2019, Hubert threatened to kill Rep. Steve Cohen. U.S. Capitol Acting Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said threats like this have increased more than 90% in the first two months of 2021.
“From 2017 to 2020, there has been an over 118% increase in the total threats and direction of interests with overwhelmingly the majority of those suspects residing outside of DC,” Pittman said.
FOX4 reached out to all the congressional representatives in the Kansas City region. A spokeswoman for Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley pointed to a protest at his Virginia home back in January that his wife claims turned violent.
On this week’s edition of 4Star Politics, former Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder said almost all offices get threats.
“Some of them are very specific, some are very broad. Capitol police take them very seriously. They go out and investigate them,” Yoder said. “Some of them rise to the level of Emanuel Cleaver, where it looks like it could be very actionable.”
This isn’t the first time Cleaver’s been threatened. Eric King, from Kansas City, is serving federal time after throwing what police say was a bomb into Cleaver’s local office back in 2014.
“It also shows me that kind of work that we have to do at this moment because this is an ugly moment in our history,” Cleaver said.
There are reports of another possible attack this Thursday. As a result, the U.S. House has canceled its session for the day.
“We have enhanced our security posture. We’ve taken immediate steps to let the National Guard as well as our workforce know what to expect tomorrow and going forward,” Pittman said.
As the threats of violence continue, Cleaver said this marks a dark time in our nation.
“We’re doing this because the number one threat facing the United States comes from its own people,” Cleaver said. “That is where we’ve never been, I don’t think in modern history, maybe never.”
Kenneth Hubert, the man accused of threatening to kill Cleaver, will remain in federal custody for now. He’s scheduled to appear in court Monday, March 8.