BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (KFOR) – A Bartlesville man has pleaded guilty to charges after he sent multiple threatening statements to a U.S. Representative from Oklahoma.
Earlier this year, Keith Charles Eisenberger was charged with threatening to assault, kidnap, or murder a United States official; threatening to assault, kidnap, or murder an immediate family member of a United States official, and cyberstalking.
In November 2018, Eisenberger allegedly began making statements about Rep. Kevin Hern that officials say “became increasingly more violent over time.”
The complaint alleges that the statements were made during visits and phone calls to the congressman’s offices in Washington, D.C., and Tulsa, and on social media.
In January of 2019, Eisenberger went to the Washington, D.C. offices and demanded to see Hern.
Officials say he told U.S. Capitol Police that he believed Hern had been elected illegally. He said that he believed the congressman had been appointed to the seat without Eisenberger being considered for it.
In a social media post in 2020, authorities say Eisenberger voiced his anger about the election and said that the congressman and the state of Oklahoma deserved to be ‘federally executed.’ He said that if that couldn’t be done, then the resignation, death, or expulsion of Hern was acceptable.
In May of this year, officials say Eisenberger then said he wanted to kidnap Hern and his wife, and wished harm would come to the congressman’s family.
“While the First Amendment gives us the right to express our own opinions, it does not protect those who cross the line of making violent criminal threats,” said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge, Edward J. Gray. “The FBI will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure elected officials can perform the duties of their office safely.”
Eisenberger pleaded guilty to cyberstalking; threatening to kidnap and assault a member of Congress; and threatening to kidnap and assault the spouse of a member of Congress.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will not tolerate online threats of violence meant to intimidate elected officials or members of our community. Keith Eisenberger now understands there are legal repercussions to committing these criminal acts,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.