Sen. Dick Durbin: Alleged Congressional Shooter James T. Hodgkinson Emailed Office For Past 8 Years

June 15, 2017
FBI agents at the scene of Wednesday's shooting at a Congressional Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Va.
AP/Jacquelyn Martin

The Illinois senator said his office turned over 16 emails to law enforcement yesterday following the alleged gunman's attack on GOP lawmakers in Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said Thursday morning that alleged congressional shooter James T. Hodgkinson had numerous correspondences with his office over the past eight years.

"This man, whom I don't believe I've ever met, the shooter yesterday, he had been corresponding with our offices for eight years,” Durbin told The 21st Show early Thursday morning.

The Illinois senator’s office turned over 16 emails from Hodgkinson to law enforcement. Then the senator's office reviewed them.

There were no warning signs that suggested Hodgkinson would act violently, according to Sen. Durbin.

Hodgkinson, a 66 year old from Belleville, Illinois, is suspected of shooting at GOP lawmakers Wednesday morning at a practice for an annual congressional baseball game. Five people were injured during the shooting, including House GOP Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).

“Here’s a man for eight years who expresses himself to me in private emails and never once crosses a line where I would say, ‘Wait a minute, I want to take look at this man, I want to turn this over to somebody,’” Illinois’ senior senator told The 21st. “The fact that people are politically involved, and they may even be emotional about political involvement, does not in itself explain crossing that divide into violent and deadly conduct. Clearly, there’s more to the story as to why he camped out in Alexandria and waited for that moment.”

Durbin appeared on Illinois Public Media’s talk show The 21st this morning.

“My guess is now that I’ve read more about him is that he was repeating or forwarding emails from some other source,” Durbin said. “There was just too much detail in his requests and there’s nothing in his background or education to reflect that he was that conversant with issues.”

Sen. Durbin said if U.S. citizens and lawmakers alike don’t bring political dialogue down a few notches, “then shame on us.”

“We are now looking the other way when extreme voices on the right rand the left say and do things which was once considered unacceptable,” he continued.

You can listen to The 21st Show’s full interview with Sen. Durbin today at 11 am on WILL AM 580 or tune in online here.