An Iowa man was arrested Thursday on fees that he left a pair of threatening voicemails for an area election official in Arizona and an official related to the state legal professional normal’s workplace practically a 12 months after the 2020 election, the Justice Division mentioned.
Mark A. Rissi, of Hiawatha, Iowa, is accused of threatening to hold Clint Hickman, a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. Rissi additionally allegedly left a threatening voicemail for an worker in Arizona Lawyer Common Mark Brnovich’s workplace.
Rissi, 64, was charged with two counts of creating a threatening interstate communication and one depend of creating a threatening phone name, the Justice Division mentioned.
The case is a part of the division’s Election Threats Activity Power, which was launched in June 2021. It has charged folks in quite a few states.
Hickman, a Republican who attended then-President Donald Trump’s last rally within the state simply days earlier than the 2020 election, was the chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, a Republican-controlled and -elected board that stood in staunch protection of the county’s 2020 election. Joe Biden narrowly gained Arizona.
Rissi is alleged to have left the voicemail for Hickman final September, accusing him of mendacity in regards to the equity of the 2020 election. The board of supervisors oversees elections within the county.
“I’m glad that you’re standing up for democracy and wish to place your hand on the Bible and say that the election was trustworthy and honest,” he mentioned, in response to a Justice Division information launch. “After we come to lynch your silly mendacity Commie [expletive], you’ll do not forget that you lied on the [expletive] Bible, you piece of [expletive]. You’re gonna die, you piece of [expletive]. We’re going to hold you. We’re going to hold you.”
The Justice Division, which redacted the expletives, mentioned the decision was made three days after the Cyber Ninjas, a cybersecurity agency, launched a partisan evaluate of Maricopa County’s 2020 election, which had been ordered by the GOP-controlled state Senate.
Hickman confirmed Thursday that he listened to the voicemail.
“I bear in mind precisely the place I used to be once I heard that voicemail. It was chilling. This wasn’t a prank name. This wasn’t protected speech. This was a severe menace to me and my household,” he mentioned in an announcement.
“Nobody needs to be subjected to this sort of hatred,” he added. “And if we actually wish to hold our nation nice, we’ll do all the pieces we will to denounce threats towards election employees and fight the disinformation that imperils our democracy.”
Rissi is accused of leaving a separate voicemail with an official in Brnovich’s workplace on Dec. 8, claiming he was a “sufferer of a criminal offense” that he described as “the theft of the 2020 election” and threatening hanging.
“I’m a sufferer of a criminal offense. My household is a sufferer of a criminal offense. My prolonged household is a sufferer of a criminal offense. That crime was the theft of the 2020 election,” Rissi is alleged to have mentioned, suggesting that “conspirators” had deleted election fraud information from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors pc system.
If he’s convicted, Rissi might withstand 5 years in jail for every depend of creating a threatening interstate communication and as much as two years in jail for the threatening phone name cost.
Rissi couldn’t be reached for remark.