Ohio Man Charged With Threatening GOP Congressman

Rep. Steve Stivers (R., Ohio) / Getty
June 22, 2017

An Ohio man has been charged with threatening to "assault, kidnap, or murder a United States official" after authorities said he left a voicemail threatening the life and family of Rep. Steve Stivers (R., Ohio).

E. Stanley Hoff, 68, faces a 10-year prison sentence after his arrest for the chilling message left with Stivers' office in Hilliard, Ohio, which referenced the shooting last week of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) and four others at a Republican baseball practice, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

"I've seen the prayer ya'll were saying at the baseball diamond ... I think ya'll better hit your knees and pray for the people that you're screwin' up their lives," the message stated, according to a criminal complaint filed by Capitol Police in U.S. District Court in Columbus.

"We're coming to get every goddamn one of you and your families. Maybe the next one taken down will be your daughter. Huh? Or your wife. Or even you."

Prosecutors said Hoff represented a danger to the community, and the suspect was ordered to be held without bail. The criminal complaint states Hoff left at least five threatening messages for Stivers since February and was warned against further contact by Capitol Police.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Kelley said Hoff's threats had to be taken seriously in the wake of the politically charged shooting by James Hodgkinson. The now deceased gunman posted strongly anti-Republican messages on his social media and was a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).

Sanders denounced the gunman and condemned any political violence in the aftermath of last week's shooting.