TULSA, Okla. -- A man known for showing up uninvited at political events to get close to politicians has been charged with threatening an Oklahoma congressman and his family, officials said Monday.
Keith Charles Eisenberger, 39, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is charged with threatening to assault, kidnap, or murder U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern; threatening to assault, kidnap, or murder an immediate family member of Hern's; and cyberstalking, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office in Tulsa.
According to a criminal complaint, Eisenberger began making concerning statements about Hern after the Tulsa Republican was elected in November 2018. Those statements on social media, by telephone and to Hern's offices in Tulsa and Washington grew increasingly violent, the complaint said.
U.S. Capitol special agents say Eisenberger appeared at Hern's Capitol Hill office in January 2019, where he demanded to see the congressman. The agents say Eisenberger told them that he believed Hern was elected illegally and that Hern had been appointed to the seat without Eisenberger being considered for the job. He also allegedly said he would not return to Oklahoma until Hern resigned.
In a November 2020 social media post, Eisenberger suggested that Hern deserved to be “federally executed” and that if that was not feasible, then his resignation, death or expulsion was acceptable, the complaint alleged. He allegedly threatened to assault the congressman in an October 2021 social media video. And in a May 11 post, he allegedly said he hoped to kidnap Hern and his wife and wished harm would come to the congressman’s family.
Eisenberger remained in federal custody pending a Tuesday preliminary hearing before a federal magistrate in Tulsa. Federal Public Defender Rob Ridenour, who is representing Eisenberger, declined to comment on the case.
The headline has been corrected to reflect that Hern is the congressman.