Man Arrested After Making Online Death Threats to Senators Including John Hoeven


Sen. John Hoeven speaks Monday during a press conference announcing that Midcontinent Communications is bringing gigabit Internet speeds to its customers in the Northern Plains, including the Fargo-Moorhead area

According to Politico, a man has been arrested for making death threats to Republican Senators after the terror attack in Orlando. Among the Senators threatened was North Dakota’s own John Hoeven:

A Virginia man tried to obtain a firearm via Twitter correspondence after tweeting death threats to multiple U.S. senators, court documents filed Monday alleged.

Kyler George Schmitz was in custody of U.S. Capitol Police after threatening to kill Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) in the wake of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. In the days following a shooting rampage through an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month that killed 49 people and injured 53 others, Schmitz’s Twitter timeline showed a series of violent and obscene tweets. …

The other tweet said: “I’m going to shoot you in the face, you will not hurt my people again, I promise #BangBangByeB—-.”

It’s unclear who the other senator is that Capitol Police referenced, as the tweets appear to have been deleted. But a search through Schmitz’s tweets reveal that he tweeted “f— you I’m coming for you” at Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and promised in a tweet to Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) that “you aren’t going to kill anymore of my loved ones.”

According to another report Schmitz, who is apparently gay, was driving near the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC shortly after making the posts:

An automated license plate reader detected Schmitz’s car on Independence Avenue SW within two blocks of the U.S. Capitol in the hours after he posted some of the messages, prosecutors said.

Schmitz acknowledges sending the tweets, his fiancé, Paul Cianciolo, told News4, but the tweets were meant as “parody” and satire. The messages were “inartful political discourse” on the issue of gun control, Schmitz’s defense attorney said.

Tweeting that you’re going to shoot people in the face is something more than “inartful.”

Scary stuff. Especially when you consider how surprisingly accessible members of Congress are on Capitol Hill. If you’ve ever been there, you know that you can often see them out walking the streets between the captiol building and the various congressional offices.