On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported that federal authorities have arrested Robert Lemke, a former Air Force captain and sheriff's sergeant who allegedly sent threatening messages to the family of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the fourth-ranking member of the House Democratic leadership.
"Your brother is putting your entire family at risk with his lies and other words," said Lemke in a text message, according to federal prosecutors. "We are armed and nearby your house ... we are not white supremacists. Most of us are active/retired law enforcement or military." According to the report, Lemke also sent threats to a relative of ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, saying, "We are nearby armed and ready."
The criminal complaint also notes that Lemke's Facebook cover photo was a picture of Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who brandished guns at George Floyd protesters and went on to speak at the 2020 Republican National Convention. The McCloskeys were later indicted for unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence.
Threats to federal politicians lives have exploded in recent weeks, with the most prominent example being the deadly invasion of the U.S. Capitol, where armed supporters of former President Donald Trump tried to hunt down members of Congress and chanted "Hang Mike Pence!"