An Indiana man has been arrested and charged with making a series of threatening calls to Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and his family.
Aaron Thompson, 33, of Fort Wayne, was arrested last month in connection with calls he allegedly made to Banks’s office in April. Thompson allegedly called Banks’s office on April 6 and another seven times on April 11.
Thompson is accused of leaving several threatening messages throughout this series of phone calls. According to a probable cause document (pdf) shared with NTD News, Thompson expressed his hope that Banks would die in a car crash and made vulgar comments about the congressman’s wife in the first phone call on April 6.
In a subsequent April 11 message left with Banks’s office, Thompson said, “I hope you [expletive] get your brains blown out.”
Throughout the phone calls, Thompson indicated he had a gun.
In his last two April 11 calls, Thompson allegedly posed a dilemma for the congressman, to either die or have his daughters killed. Banks has three daughters.
“Here’s the choice. Your daughters grow up without their dad, or you grow old without your daughters,” Thompson allegedly said. “How you like that? Let me know what your opinion is. I’ll make the decision. Love you [expletive] [expletive].”
“Boom Boom you pick which two daughters get shot,” Thompson allegedly added.
Thompson is charged with intimidation, a Level 6 felony in Indiana that carries a penalty of between six months and 2 1/2 years of prison time. He is also charged with harassment, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail.
The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Department, which is charged with protecting the Capitol and members of Congress, assisted Allen County law enforcement officials and prosecutors with the investigation.
When questioned about the threatening phone calls, Thompson told USCP investigators he had been intoxicated when he made the calls. Thompson also allegedly told the USCP investigators he left the voicemails because he disagrees with Banks politically.
“On May 9, 2023, we worked with our local law enforcement partners in Indiana to arrest 33-year-old Aaron L. Thompson for harassment & intimidation,” USCP said in an emailed statement to NTD News. “This case is just another example of how our threat agents are working around the clock to chase down threats in order to protect the Members of Congress.”
When reached for comment, Banks said, “The safety of my family is my top priority,” while his office referred all questions about the case to the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office.
Thompson appeared in court for his initial hearing on Tuesday. At the hearing, Magistrate Judge Samuel Kierns issued a “no contact order.” Thompson is due to return to court on Aug. 2.
Recent Threats Against Lawmakers
Several lawmakers and their families have faced threats in recent months.
California man Dave DePape is accused of breaking into the home of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in October, when she was still House speaker, and striking her husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer.
The U.S. Department of Justice arrested and charged Eric Charles Welton last month after he made multiple threatening phone calls to the offices of Republican North Carolina Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr in September of 2021. The suspect alluded to going to Tillis’s Raleigh office space and killing everyone he sees there. The same suspect also allegedly threatened to attack the U.S. Consulate in in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and kill U.S. Marines guarding the diplomatic outpost in November of last year.
Last week, New Hampshire man Brian Landry was charged with threatening to kill a U.S. senator who has been blocking a list of pending military promotions. While charging documents in the case did not identify the targeted senator by name, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) has been blocking a list of military promotions over objections to a U.S. Department of Defense abortion policy.
“Hey stupid. I’m a veteran sniper, and unless you change your ways, I got my scope pointed in your direction and I’m coming to get you,” Landry allegedly said in a May 17 voice message. “You’re a dead man walking, you piece of [expletive] [expletive].”