Gunman visited Sanders’ office, contacted 2 Dem senators prior to attack on GOP lawmakers

Information released this week by the FBI shows the deranged gunman who opened fire on Republican lawmakers during a baseball practice had visited the office of Sen. Bernie Sanders prior to the shooting.

James Hodgkinson, 66, also sent emails to Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, who represented the out-of-work Illinois home inspector, according to the Associated Press.

Twice in the two months prior to the attack, when Hodgkinson was living out of his van in suburban Virginia, he contacted Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.

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“He contacted our office to state his opinion on a variety of issues over the years, twice during that timeframe,” said Durbin spokesman Ben Marter. “Never in person — just constituent emails.”

Duckworth’s office acknowledged Hodgkinson “had contacted our office through our website several times to express his opinion as a constituent, but provided no reason for alarm.”

Hodgkinson, whose worked as a volunteer for Sander’s presidential campaign, was shot and killed by police after shooting and wounding five people, including two U.S. Capitol police officers and Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip.

Sanders took to the Senate floor the day of the incident to condemn the attack, after learning Hodgkinson had worked for his campaign.

“I am sickened by this despicable act,” the senator from Vermont said. “Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.”

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Tom Tillison

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