The website of a local Republican Party office in Hudson, Wis., was down as of Wednesday morning, days after it drew widespread criticism for posting a message to "prepare for war."

It wasn't immediately clear who pushed the site offline; the county party chairman was initially defiant and ignored a request earlier this week from the state GOP office that the message be removed.

Complaints piled up on Tuesday, including from St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson, who said in a Facebook post that he was shocked and disheartened by the website's tone. He strongly condemned the urging of residents to prepare for war.

The St. Croix County Republican message was posted before last week's insurrection in Washington that left five dead. Starting with a Latin phrase for "If you want peace, prepare for war," the message referenced "the digital battlefield" before saying the "Marxist left and a complicit mass media" worked to overturn the 2016 election "through any means necessary." Democrats used "chaos" and "every dirty trick imaginable," the message continued.

"It's time to stand and be counted as a conservative warrior in the on-going fight to preserve our Constitutional Republic," it continued. "Please join us. We need to start local by removing leftist tyrants from all local and County positions in the future April elections."

Efforts to reach St. Croix County Republican Party Chairman John Kraft were not successful. The group's Facebook page, which did not include the same message as the website, remained online Wednesday.

The FBI has credible evidence of a threat of violence on Sunday specifically aimed at the Minnesota Capitol, according to reports covered by the Star Tribune. The evidence was spelled out in a Dec. 29 report written by the FBI's Minneapolis division. Other threats uncovered by the FBI have led to warnings for other capitols across the nation.

Matt McKinney • 612-673-7329