A 39-year-old Oklahoma man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to cyberstalking and threatening Rep. Kevin Hern.

Keith Eisenberger of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, made "concerning statements" regarding the 60-year-old United States representative and his family online. He often shows up uninvited to several political events attempting to connect with lawmakers. According to the prosecutor, Eisenberger began harassing Hern after he was appointed to the U.S. House in 2018. In late 2018, Eisenberger also called Hern's staff to complain that the latter's election was "illegal." He said, "I will do everything I can to stop this."

Eisenberger showed up at Hern's Washington, DC office in 2019, asking to see the House representative. He told police that he had a one-way ticket to Washington and would not come back to Oklahoma until Hern resigned from his position. Meanwhile, in 2020, he targeted Hern on social media, saying that he should be "federally executed. Then, according to the Department of Justice, he threatened to "assault" the congressman and kidnap him together with his wife, Tammy Hern.

Prosecutors and Eisenberger's lawyer both agreed that the sentencing guidelines call for a total of 36 months in jail and another 36 months of supervised release.

"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," U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson said in a press release.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray went on to explain that the First Amendment does not protect individuals who threaten violence. "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," Gray clarified. "The FBI will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure elected officials can perform the duties of their office safely."

Meanwhile, a man was also arrested after yelling racist threats outside the home of Rep. Pramila Jayapal. Brett Forsell, a 49-year-old from Seattle, pleaded not guilty to a felony stalking charge. In June, an armed man was arrested near the house of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after calling 911 on himself. The suspect, identified as Nicholas John Roske, claimed that he was there to kill justice. Roske pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder of a federal judge.

Rep. Kevin Hern
Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK) speaks during a town hall event hosted by House Republicans ahead of President Joe Biden's first State of the Union address on March 1, 2022 in Washington, DC. Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images

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