US attorney 'declined' to prosecute over threat to Congressman, letter claims

US attorney 'declined' to prosecute over threat to Congressman, letter claims

Rep. Jim Banks was left threatening messages.

ByLuke Barr

June 17, 2024, 10:24 PM

    The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana declined to prosecute a man who threatened to kill an Indiana congressman and his family, according to a letter obtained by ABC News.

    Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) was left threatening messages by Aaron Thompson, who was later sentenced to two years in prison by the local district attorney in Indiana, but the new letter raises questions about why the U.S. Attorney, which normally handles threats to members of Congress, did not prosecute the case.

    “Three daughters. Hey, hey, hey, three bullets hey, hey, hey one wife yay. Oh yeah, yeah, we'll give her two bullets.." Thompson said in one threatening voicemail, according to the letter.

    FBI agents visited the Congressman’s house and "admitted he had threatened me and my family with violence because he disagreed with my political beliefs," according to the letter written by Banks and sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland in December.

    PHOTO: Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 12, 2018.

    Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 12, 2018.Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images via Getty Images, FILE

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    "When Capitol Police referred the criminal case against Aaron Thompson to the U.S. Attorney for Northern District of Indiana, they declined to prosecute despite clear evidence that Thompson violated federal law," Banks wrote.

    Banks is running for the open Senate seat in Indiana.

    Garland, according to Banks, has made it a priority to prosecute threats to members of Congress and Banks asked why the DOJ didn't pursue prosecution in his situation when similar threats made against California Rep. Eric Swalwell were prosecuted.

    Last week, Attorney General Garland penned an op-ed decrying political violence.

    "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.

    MORE: US Secret Service agent robbed at gunpoint during Biden trip to California

    A spokesperson for the Congressman says the Justice Department has not responded to Banks' letter.

    The Justice Department has not responded to ABC News request for comment.

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