U.S. Representative Mike Bost, the Republican representing Illinois' 12th District, said the Belleville man who opened fire at the congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning contacted his office 10 times beginning in June 2016.
According to a statement from Bost, James Hodgkinson began contacting the office in June of 2016 to "express his opposition to the Republican agenda in Congress."
Bost represents the area where Hodgkinson lived. Illinois's 12th District consists of parts of Madison County and all of Alexander, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Monroe, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph, St. Clair, Union and Williamson counties.
Bost said the calls never appeared threatening or led him to believe Hodgkinson posed a threat to anyone's safety. Bost said if he had any inclination that Hodgkinson was a safety threat, he would have informed U.S. Capitol Police.
The full statement is as follows:
“James Hodgkinson contacted my office 10 times, beginning in June 2016 and continuing through May of this year. While he continually expressed his opposition to the Republican agenda in Congress, the correspondence never appeared threatening or raised concerns that anger would turn to physical action. Had we any indication that Mr. Hodgkinson posed a threat to anyone’s safety, we would have taken the appropriate steps to alert U.S. Capitol Police immediately. My prayers continue to be with Steve Scalise, as well as members of the security detail and congressional staff who were injured in this heartless attack.”
A local newspaper reports Hodgkinson also wrote more than two dozen letters to the editor. From 2008 to 2012, the Belleville News Democrat published several of his letters, which the paper compiled into a full list and shared with 5 On Your Side Wednesday.
In the letter, Hodgkinson often writes about income inequality and calls for federal tax reform.