US attorney ‘declined’ to prosecute over threat to congressman, letter claims


U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana declined to prosecute a man who threatened to kill Indiana Congressman Jim Banks and his family, according to a letter obtained by NWOOW News. This decision has raised significant concerns about the federal handling of threats against elected officials, particularly given the recent emphasis on addressing political violence.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) was subjected to several threatening messages from Aaron Thompson. Despite the serious nature of these threats, which included explicit mentions of violence against Banks’ family members, Thompson was sentenced to only two years of probation by the local district attorney in Indiana. The letter obtained by NWOOW News suggests that there are questions regarding why the U.S. Attorney, who typically handles threats against members of Congress, did not pursue federal prosecution in this case.

One of the most chilling messages left by Thompson was a voicemail in which he said, “Three daughters. Hey, hey, hey, three bullets hey, hey, hey one wife yay. Oh yeah, yeah, we’ll give her two bullets..” This explicit threat highlights the severity of Thompson’s intentions and the potential danger faced by Rep. Banks and his family.

Following these threats, FBI agents visited Thompson’s residence. According to a letter sent by Banks to Attorney General Merrick Garland in December, Thompson admitted to the FBI that he had threatened Banks and his family because he disagreed with Banks’ political beliefs. Despite this admission, the case was not prosecuted at the federal level.

“When Capitol Police referred the criminal case against Aaron Thompson to the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, they declined to prosecute despite clear evidence that Thompson violated federal law,” Banks wrote in his letter. This decision by the U.S. Attorney has led to significant questions and concerns, especially since threats against federal officials are typically prosecuted under federal law.

Rep. Banks, who is currently running for the open Senate seat in Indiana, has been vocal about the need for stringent prosecution of threats against public officials. His letter to Attorney General Garland underscores this point and questions why the Department of Justice (DOJ) did not pursue prosecution in his case when similar threats made against other members of Congress, such as California Rep. Eric Swalwell, were prosecuted.

In response to the growing concern over political violence, Attorney General Garland recently wrote an op-ed decrying the use of violence and threats to influence political outcomes. “Disagreements about politics are good for our democracy,” Garland wrote in an opinion piece in the Washington Post. “They are normal. But using conspiracy theories, falsehoods, violence, and threats of violence to affect political outcomes is not normal.”

Garland’s op-ed emphasizes the DOJ’s commitment to prosecuting threats against members of Congress and underscores the importance of maintaining the rule of law in the face of political disagreements. This makes the decision not to prosecute Thompson particularly perplexing and troubling for many.

The situation has also brought attention to the broader issue of political violence and the safety of elected officials. The Capitol Police have reported a significant increase in threats against members of Congress in recent years, a trend that has been exacerbated by the polarized political climate. Ensuring that threats are taken seriously and prosecuted accordingly is essential to safeguarding democracy and protecting public servants.

Moreover, the differing outcomes in the handling of threats against various members of Congress raise questions about consistency and fairness in the application of justice. Banks’ letter to Garland highlights this discrepancy and calls for a clear explanation from the DOJ regarding their prosecutorial decisions.

The letter from Banks also notes the impact such threats and the lack of prosecution can have on public perception and the willingness of individuals to serve in public office. If threats are not adequately addressed and prosecuted, it may deter people from running for office, fearing for their safety and that of their families.


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