Man charged with threat against Rep. Cleaver

By The Examiner staff

A federal grand jury has indicted a southwest Missouri man for threatening two members of Congress, including U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II.

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II represents Independence, Blue Springs and Kansas City.

Kenneth Hubert, 63, of Marionville, was charged in a three-count indictment returned under seal Feb. 23 in Springfield and is federal custody. The indictment was unsealed Wednesday with Hubert’s arrest and initial court appearance. 

In the indictment, Hubert allegedly threatened to assault and kill, in separate incidents, Cleaver (D-Kansas City) on Jan. 7, 2021 and U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee on May 6, 2019, in retaliation for their work. Hubert allegedly threatened Cohen with a call to his Washington, D.C., office. 

In an emailed statement, Cleaver said his office received an “increased number of racist, threatening and violent messages” after the attempted insurrection at the Capitol building, and that the attempted coup that day shows that “violent rhetoric eventually leads to violent action, and violent action leads to tragedy.

“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,” Cleaver said.

In the statement, Cleaver thanked the Capitol Police, FBI and local law enforcement who investigated the threats and worked to ensure his family and staff’s safety.

Court documents available to the public gave no details about the threat against Cleaver. The date of the threat is a day after the riot at the Capitol building, but a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas City said Hubert was not part of that mob. 

Marionville is located between Springfield and Joplin – far from Cleaver’s district that covers much of Jackson County and Ray, Lafayette and Saline counties. Cohen, a Democrat, represents the most southwest corner of Tennessee, including most of Memphis.