Man charged with threatening Republican Jim Banks

 June 7, 2023

An Indiana man has been arrested for threatening to kill Republican Rep. Jim Banks (IN).

The suspect, 33-year-old Fort Wayne man Aaron L. Thompson, left a series of intimidating messages over the phone in which he wished death on Banks and his family.

Thomspon was charged with intimidation, a felony in the state, and harassment, which is a misdemeanor.

Man threatens Jim Banks

The suspect blew up Banks' phone with seven phone calls in a single day. He also called Banks one other time, leaving vulgar comments about Banks' wife.

In another one of the voicemails, Thompson told Banks to choose between himself and his daughters.

"Here’s the choice," Thompson said. "Your daughters grow up without their dad or you grow old without your daughters.  How you like that? Let me know what your opinion is. I'll make the decision. Love you f****ing faggot. Boom boom you pick which two daughters get shot."

Thompson also said he wished to see Banks die in a car accident or have "his brains blown out."

Politically motivated

The suspect told the cops he was drunk and that the threat was politically motivated.

“The safety of my family is my top priority," Banks said in a statement. "I’ve been instructed to refer all questions about the ongoing criminal investigation to the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office."

Thompson was arrested Friday and charged by the Allen County Prosecutor's Office. The suspect was ordered to return to court in August and received five "no contact" orders.

He is free after posting a $2,500 bail, CNN reported.

Unrest rising

Threats to lawmakers have risen in recent years, with political divisions in the country growing more bitter all the time.

A high-profile example was the assault of Paul Pelosi, the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), during a burglary at their San Francisco home last year.

Lawmakers have also occasionally been the targets of seemingly random street violence, with crime on the rise nationwide. A homeless man who attacked Democratic Rep. Angie Craig (MN) in the elevator of her apartment in Washington, D.C. pled guilty last week.

Civilians have also been the targets of political violence.

North Dakota teenager Cayler Ellingson was run over and killed last year after a political argument with a man named Shannon Brandt, who had described Ellingson as a "Republican extremist." Brandt pled guilty to manslaughter after the charges were downgraded from murder last month.

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