WASHINGTON — Omahan Clark Rutledge got a visit this week from the FBI after calling the office of his congressman, Rep. Don Bacon.
“Our office took a call from a constituent who made alleged threats against the congressman and his family,” Bacon spokeswoman Danielle Jensen said in a statement. “All threats are taken seriously by Capital Police and this office. We would not want to see a repeat of two years ago when Minority Whip (Steve) Scalise and others were shot.”
Jensen said the office reported the comments to police per standard procedure.
“The safety of our constituents and the congressman is very important and we thank Capital Police and local law enforcement for their thorough review,” she said.
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Rutledge has been highly critical of Bacon, a Republican, on social media.
In an interview with The World-Herald, Rutledge characterized the call to law enforcement as an attempt by the congressman to stifle that criticism.
“I am left feeling very intimidated and shook up and threatened by that,” Rutledge said.
He said the offending call to Bacon’s office involved him expressing his passionate feelings about the congressman’s position on LGBT rights.
Earlier this year, Bacon voted against legislation that would provide new anti-discrimination protections to LGBT individuals. Bacon said that while LGBT citizens need equal protection, those protections have to respect religious groups who hold traditional views on marriage.
Rutledge cited an award that Bacon has received from the Family Research Council, which Rutledge described as a hate group working to strip LGBT individuals of their rights.
Rutledge said he asked rhetorically if he should join a hate group targeting the congressman’s friends and family for harassment and discrimination.
He said he was just trying to make a point about Bacon’s involvement with the group and would never do anything against the congressman beyond voting against him and encouraging others to do so.
“There was no intention of a threat there,” Rutledge said.
Jensen said the staff member who took the call gave a detailed accounting of what was said.
“Even if someone says they are being sarcastic or rhetorical, we must take it seriously. As does Capital Police, the FBI, and local law enforcement.”
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