Iowa man charged with threatening Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman

Published: Thursday, October 6, 2022 - 3:48pm
Updated: Friday, October 7, 2022 - 8:39am

The Department of Justice has charged an Iowa man for allegedly threatening Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman over the 2020 election.

Mark A. Rissi, 64, faces charges of communicating an interstate threat and making a threatening phone call.

According to the DOJ, Rissi called Hickman in September 2021 and attacked him for Hickman’s defense of the 2020 election as “honest and fair.”

“When we come to lynch your stupid lying Commie [expletive], you’ll remember that you lied on the [expletive] Bible, you piece of [expletive],” Rissi said, according to his indictment. “You’re gonna die, you piece of [expletive]. We’re going to hang you. We’re going to hang you."

The DOJ did not identify Hickman as the victim of the threat. But the supervisor later issued a statement describing the “chilling” voicemail.

“This wasn’t a prank call. This wasn’t protected speech. This was a serious threat to me and my family,” Hickman said.

The call was made shortly after the conclusion of a discredited review of the 2020 election, conducted at the orders of Arizona Senate Republicans. The results from the so-called audit, announced days before Rissi’s alleged call, determined President Biden did indeed receive more votes in Maricopa County than former President Trump.

Rissi also allegedly made another threat to an official with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, again threatening to hang the person, who was not identified by the DOJ.

If convicted of all charges, Rissi could face up to 12 years in prison.

The investigation stemmed from the Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force, launched in 2021 to address escalating threats of violence against election workers.

In August, the DOJ announced the arrest of a Missouri man for making similar threats against Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer.

Hickman, a Republican like Richer, referenced those and other threats against county election staff in his statement. And he urged Arizona leaders to speak up for the truth.

“Whether it’s a person who shares your politics or your worldview or not, no one should be subjected to this kind of hatred,” Hickman said.