A California man has been arrested and charged with sending chilling text messages to the brother of a congressman, as well as ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos, according to unsealed court documents. Robert Lemke allegedly texted the brother of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) on Jan. 6, the day of the Capitol riot, “your brother is putting your entire family at risk with his lies and other words. We are armed and nearby your house... We are not white supremacists. Most of us are active/retired law enforcement or military.” In a statement, Jeffries's office confirmed that he was the unnamed congressman mentioned in the complaint. The New York Times reported that Stephanopoulos was the unnamed journalist.
The Jeffries text message was allegedly accompanied by a photo of home in the brother’s neighborhood. Lemke allegedly made similar threats to a relative of Stephanopoulos, writing, “we are nearby armed and ready.” The complaint notes that Lemke’s cover photo on Facebook was a photo of the McCloskeys, the St. Louis couple accused of brandishing a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters.
While Lemke identified himself on Facebook as a former U.S. Air Force captain and a retired sergeant with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office in California, according to his criminal complaint, both departments confirmed he had never worked for them.