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Missouri Man Arrested For Threatening To Kill Congressman Cleaver

Jacquelyn Martin/AP
In this June 27, 2018, file photo, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., asks a question during a committee meeting in Washington. Cleaver is one of two U.S. House Representatives allegedly threatened by a Marionville, Missouri, man.

A federal grand jury indictment unsealed on Wednesday says Kenneth R. Hubert, 63, of Marionville, Missouri, threatened to “murder” U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and another congressman from Tennessee.

A southwest Missouri man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly threatening to kill U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver just a day after the assault on the U.S. Capitol last month.

According to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed Wednesday, Kenneth R. Hubert, 63, threatened “to assault and murder” Cleaver, a Kansas City Democrat, “on account of the performance of his official duties.”

Hubert allegedly made the same threat against U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat, in May 2019. Don Ledford, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas City, said he didn’t have information on a motive.

Cleaver said his office began receiving an increase in racist, threatening and violent messages after the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

“As the attempted coup on January 6 proved, violent rhetoric eventually leads to violent action—and violent action leads to tragedy,” Cleaver said in a statement.

“For this reason, we must make clear that violent hate speech has no place in the United States, and anyone who crosses the line from spirited debate to violent threats must be held accountable.”

In addition to the two counts of threats against U.S. congressmen, Hubert also faces charges of threatening Cohen and a staffer by phone. Cohen’s district includes most of Memphis.

Hubert's next court appearance is set for March 8.

I’m a veteran investigative reporter who came up through newspapers and moved to public media. I want to give people a better understanding of the criminal justice system by focusing on its deeper issues, like institutional racism, the poverty-to-prison pipeline and police accountability. Today this beat is much different from how reporters worked it in the past. I’m telling stories about people who are building significant civil rights movements and redefining public safety. Email me at lowep@kcur.org.
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