64-year-old man from Iowa faces charges for threatening to lynch Maricopa County Supervisor over voting fraud claims

A 64-year-old Iowa man has been detained for threatening to lynch Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman and an employee of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for failing to investigate fabricated voter fraud charges.

“When we come to lynch your stupid lying Communist [expletive], you’ll remember that you lied on the [expletive] Bible, you piece of [expletive],” Rissi allegedly stated in a voicemail to Hickman, according to a Department of Justice news release. “You’re going to die, you piece of [expletive]. We intend to hang you. We intend to hang you.”

The call came three days after Cyber Ninjas published its incorrect analysis of the 2020 election results, the final product of the Arizona Senate’s partisan election review, which has continued to provide conspiracy theorists and legislators with ammunition.

“I recall my exact location when I got that voicemail. In a written statement regarding the conversation, Hickman described it as “chilling.” This was not a joke call. This speech was not protected. This posed a grave danger to myself and my family.

“I’m grateful that the Department of Justice and the FBI took this matter seriously and made an arrest, and I’m pleased that the U.S. Attorney General has established a task force to investigate the rise in threats of violence against election workers and elected officials.”

Hickman continued by saying that today’s indictment is “insufficient” because he and his colleagues had received countless threats over the past two years. Stephen Richer, the county recorder for Maricopa County, is one of these colleagues.

Earlier this year, a Missouri man was indicted for threatening to kill Richer because he opposed the Senate’s partisan election investigation, leaving a voicemail on the Republican’s mobile phone stating that “other people from other states are watching your ass.”

You’re gonna die, you piece of (expletive). We’re going to hang you. We’re going to hang you.

– A voicemail for Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman, allegedly left by Mark Rissi

Hickman lay the blame at the feet of Republicans who remained silent about election lies in order to protect their standing within a political party that regards individuals who deny the spurious fraud claims as heretics.

In his statement, Hickman stated, “People in positions of authority, leadership, and influence in Arizona are largely mute.” “How can you be quiet?”

Hickman said that he believes that by speaking out, he would inspire others to do the same in order to counteract the disinformation that “threatens our democracy.”

No one should be subjected to this type of vitriol, regardless of whether they share your views or your worldview.

Officials other than Hickman were also threatened.

Rissi allegedly also contacted the office of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, alleging he was the victim of a “crime.” Brnovich is a target of election denialists who believe the attorney general should investigate alleged election fraud or prosecute people they believe are guilty.

In his call, Rissi asserted that the crime was the “stealing of the 2020 election” and repeated the disproven allegation that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors deleted files from a computer system.

Rissi then warned an unnamed employee, “Do your work or you will end up with them [expletive]” We will ensure it. Torches and pickaxes. That’s your future, [expletive]. Do your job.”

“I would want to thank the Department of Justice for taking threats against public officials seriously,” Brnovich told the Arizona Mirror in a statement. Nobody should be threatened for performing their duties.

Rissi is charged with two counts of communicating threats over state lines and making threatening phone calls. Each count of making a threatening interstate communication carries a maximum sentence of five years, and each count of making a threatening telephone call carries a maximum sentence of two years, thus Rissi may face up to 12 years in jail.

The case was investigated by the FBI Phoenix Field Office with assistance from the FBI Cedar Rapids Field Office.

Since June 2021, the FBI has received more than 1,000 tips relating to threats against election workers. In Arizona, election officials have been subjected to an abnormally high number of threats. About 11%, or 110, of these tips have resulted in investigations.

States Newsroom is a network of news bureaus financed by grants and a coalition of supporters as a 501(c)(3) public charity, of which Iowa Capital Dispatch is a part. Iowa Capital Dispatch upholds editorial autonomy. For inquiries, please contact Editor Kathryn Obradovich at [email protected] Follow Iowa Capital Dispatch on Twitter and Facebook.

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