A Missouri man who prosecutors say threatened to lynch a Black congressman the day after the Jan. 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol and a Jewish congressman in 2019 was ordered by a federal judge on Monday to remain in custody.
The man, Kenneth R. Hubert, made the menacing comments toward the two Democratic representatives, Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri and Steve Cohen of Tennessee, according to prosecutors, who contended that Mr. Hubert’s release on bond would present a danger to the community.
Mr. Hubert, 63, of Marionville, Mo., pleaded not guilty during a detention hearing on Monday in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo. He is charged in an indictment unsealed last week with two counts of threatening to kill or harm a United States official and one count of using an interstate communication to make a threat. His trial is scheduled to begin in May.
Prosecutors said that Mr. Hubert had an extensive history of leveling threats at elected officials and political party employees, the most recent of which came on Jan. 7 when, they say, he left a phone message at Mr. Cleaver’s Independence, Mo., office that contained a racial slur and expletives. Mr. Cleaver, who is from Kansas City, Mo., is Black.
The Kansas City Star. “And your words rise to the level of posing a danger.”
David Mercer, a federal public defender for Mr. Hubert, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday, but was quoted by The Star as telling Judge Rush that his client did not have a criminal record and that he had an increased risk of contracting the coronavirus if he remained in jail because of unspecified medical conditions.
Mr. Cleaver said in an email statement on Monday night that it was important to note that Mr. Hubert did not live in Mr. Cleaver’s congressional district and that the two had never met.
“But then, hate has such bad eyesight that a thrown rock might hit anyone within range,” Mr. Cleaver said. “Maybe it’s good that he remain in a place where there are no rocks.”
Mr. Cohen’s chief of staff declined to comment on Monday night, citing the continuing legal proceedings.
On the day of the Capitol siege, prosecutors said, Mr. Hubert left two voice-mail messages at the Missouri Democratic Party offices threatening to emulate the actions of the rioters.