A man known for showing up uninvited to political events and attempting to get close to politicians pleaded guilty Wednesday for cyberstalking and making multiple threatening statements regarding U.S. Representative Kevin Hern and his family. Hern represents Oklahoma’s first congressional district.
Keith Charles Eisenberger, 39, of Bartlesville, pleaded guilty to cyberstalking; threatening to kidnap and assault a member of Congress; and threatening to kidnap and assault the spouse of a member of Congress.
“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,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
“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,” said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge, Edward J. Gray. “The FBI will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure elected officials can perform the duties of their office safely.”
Eisenberger admitted that between Nov. 27, 2018, and May 11, 2022, he threatened and harassed Representative Hern via electronic communication in an effort to cause emotional distress to Hern and his immediate family. He further admitted that during the same timeframe, he threatened to assault and kidnap Hern with the intent to interfere with the congressman’s official duties and to retaliate against him. Finally, he admitted that on May 11, 2022, he threatened to kidnap and assault the congressman’s wife.
According to court documents, Eisenberger began making concerning statements about Hern when he took office in November 2018. Eisenberger’s statements became increasingly more violent over time and were made during visits and phone calls to the congressman’s offices in Washington, DC and Tulsa and on social media.
In January 2019, Eisenberger appeared in the Washington, DC offices, yelling and demanding to see Hern. He later told U.S. Capitol Police special agents that he was angry with Hern because he believed the congressman had been appointed to the seat without Eisenberger being considered for it. He then stated that he had flown to Washington, DC on a one-way ticket and would not be returning until Hern resigned.
In a social media post dated Nov. 9, 2020, Eisenberger again voiced his anger about the election and further suggested that the congressman and the state of Oklahoma deserved to be “federally executed” and that if that was not feasible then the resignation, death or expulsion of Hern was acceptable.
In a lengthy October 2021 social media video post, he touted that he was going to assault the congressman, whether it be at a debate, a conference, or elsewhere.
In a May 11, 2022, social media post, Eisenberger stated that he hoped to kidnap Hern and his wife. He further wished harm would come to the congressman’s family.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Nassar is prosecuting the case