John Boehner Hopes Would-Be Killer 'Gets the Help He Needs'

PHOTO: House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio takes questions from reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. Lauren Victoria Burke / AP Photo
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio takes questions from reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015.

House Speaker John Boehner said today he hopes the Ohio man who threatened to poison him “gets the help he needs."

“Obviously this young man has got some health issues, mental health issues that need to be addressed and I hope he gets the help he needs,” Boehner said at a news conference at a Republican retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Michael Robert Hoyt of Ohio was indicted last week on charges of threatening to murder Boehner last October. Hoyt, who had been fired from his job as a bartender at the Ohio country club Boehner attends, told police he often served drinks for Boehner and could have slipped something into his drink and said he told a Deer Park police officer he “needed to kill Boehner.” Hoyt later told investigators he had no intention of hurting Boehner or anyone else.

Commenting on the indictment for the first time today, Boehner noted how troubling it was to have a threat come from a person so close to him.

“You know it’s one thing to get a threat from far away. It’s another when it’s three doors from where you live,” Boehner said.

The House Speaker also commented on a recently thwarted plot from another Ohio man to bomb and kill people at the U.S. Capitol. Boehner credited a government surveillance program for helping law enforcement officials disrupt the plans.

“With regard to the threat to the Capitol coming frankly not far from where I live, the first thing that strikes me is that we would have never known about this had it not been for the FISA program and our ability to collect information on people who pose an imminent threat,” Boehner said, referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

“Our government does not spy on Americans unless there are Americans who are doing things that frankly tip off our law enforcement officials to an imminent threat," he added. "And it was our law enforcement officials and those programs that helped us stop this person before he committed a heinous crime in our nation’s capital.”

Asked if he had any additional information not available to the press on how law enforcement apprehended the individual, Boehner said “we’ll let the whole story roll out there," but it was far more than just social media posts that alerted law enforcement officials to the plot.