Man Who Threatened to Lynch Black Congressman, Hang Obama Denied Release

A Missouri man with a history of making alleged racial threats against Democratic lawmakers — including a January 7 call about lynching a Black congressman — will remain in prison, a federal judge said Monday.

Federal prosecutors with the U.S. Justice Department say Kenneth R. Hubert, 63, of Marionville, Missouri, left a voicemail with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver's office and used a racial slur to ask, "How about a noose ... around [your] neck?" Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush told Hubert Monday at a detention hearing that "words have meaning" and "your words rise to the level of posing a danger."

Cleaver, who was the first Black mayor of Kansas City before getting elected to the U.S. House, said he feels "comfortable" under the protection of federal and local law enforcement, the Missouri Independent reported. But he and FBI officials noted this is only Hubert's latest racial threat against Democratic lawmakers. And he is one of many frustrated Americans "being fed a bowl of lies every morning" by right-wing media and lawmakers.

Hubert allegedly left threatening voicemails with the Missouri Democratic Party office on January 6, the day of the Capitol insurrection in Washington D.C., the Kansas City Star reported Tuesday. On the day of the Capitol attacks, Hubert left two voicemails at the Democratic office which warned, "You see the s*** happening at the Capitol? It's coming your way next."

The next day, he allegedly left another voicemail at Cleaver's office and referenced an "Amen and A-woman" pun the Methodist-minister-turned congressman made at the end of a congressional prayer. "Amen, A-woman? How about a noose ... around his neck. He's a dumb motherf****r."

The judge ruled that Hubert will remain detained. He is charged with "intent to impede, intimidate and interfere" with Cleaver's official duties. Hubert proudly described himself to the FBI as a "right-wing nut job" and was previously investigated by the U.S. Secret Service for saying former President Barack Obama "needed to be hanged from a light post."

"The director of the field office in Kansas City called me a couple hours ago and told me his agents had just arrested someone for threats on me," Cleaver said in an interview with the Star. "and that their office was being very vigilant in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 uprising. We get a lot of phone calls, N words, the threats about all kinds of things."

In 2014, a man tried to firebomb Cleaver's Kansas City office before later being sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Hubert also allegedly threatened to kill Democratic Tennessee Representative Steve Cohen back in May 2019. The FBI said it has been investigating Hubert for several years and it was among several agencies which investigated him after his January 6-7 phone calls including the U.S. Capitol Police, the Independence Police Department and the Marionville-Aurora Police Department.

Cleaver applauded FBI Director Christopher Wray, an appointee of President Donald Trump.

"He hasn't tried to protect or hurt anyone," Cleaver said of Wray. "He's just following the law and I think that's what's happening here."

Newsweek reached out to Capitol Police as well as Cleaver's office for any additional remarks about the ongoing case against Hubert.

emanuel cleaver house democrat threatened
U.S. House Representative Emanuel Cleaver runs to the stage to introduce candidate Joe Biden during the Joe Biden Campaign Rally at the National World War I Museum and Memorial on March 7, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. KYLE RIVAS / Stringer/Getty Images