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Indiana man charged with threatening to kill Rep. Jim Banks and his family over politics

By Rashard Rose and Alayna Treene, CNN

(CNN) — An Indiana man has been charged after allegedly threatening Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana and his family in voicemails, according to a court document.

Aaron Thompson, 33, told United States Capitol Police that he’d left the voicemails at Banks’ office because he disagrees with him politically, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by CNN affiliate WISH. Thompson had been intoxicated at the time, he told USCP.

He faces charges of felony intimidation and misdemeanor harassment, online records showed. It was not clear if Thompson has retained a lawyer.

In a statement about the allegations, Banks said, “The safety of my family is my top priority. I’ve been instructed to refer all questions about the ongoing criminal investigation to the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office.” CNN has reached out to the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office for comment.

Thompson left a voicemail on April 6 at Banks’ office and “made the statements that he hoped Congressman Banks dies in a car crash. He also made vulgar statements towards Congressman Banks wife,” the affidavit said.

Thompson left seven more voicemails at Banks’ office on April 11 with more vulgar statements toward Banks and his family, according to the document.

Thompson also told Banks “I hope you f**king get your brains blown out,” the affidavit said.

In another voicemail, he indicated that he owns a gun because the Constitution allows him to, according to the document.

The affidavit also details a voicemail regarding Banks’ family: “Here’s the choice. 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.”

Online court records indicates Thompson was released Tuesday on $2,500 bond, and his next court appearance is set for August 2.

The threats come amid a string of incidents where members of Congress, their staff and their families have been attacked in recent months.

Last month, two staffers in Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly’s Fairfax, Virginia, office were injured by a man wielding a bat. In October, a man attacked Paul Pelosi, the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in the couple’s home in San Francisco.

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Jack Forrest, Manu Raju, Annie Grayer, Kristin Wilson and Melanie Hicken contributed to this report.

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