Virginia Rep. Connolly's Staff Attacked With Baseball Bat

    Virginia Rep. Connolly's Staff Attacked With Baseball Bat
    Last updated May 16, 2023
    Image credit: Getty Images [via CNN]


    • On Monday, US Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) announced that a man armed with a baseball bat had walked into his district office in Fairfax and violently attacked two of his staff members.[1]
    • The assailant struck one senior aide in the head and a first-day intern in the side — both were transferred to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He also caused material damage by shattering glass in a conference room and breaking computers.[2]
    • The man, identified by Capitol Police as 49-year-old Fairfax resident Xuan Kha Tran Pham, has been arrested and faces charges for one count each of aggravated malicious wounding and malicious wounding.[3]
    • While no potential motive has yet been disclosed, this attack comes amid a rise in threats and violence against members of Congress in recent years.[4]
    • Cases scrutinized by the US Capitol Police's Threat Assessment Section increased 144% from 2017 to 2021, when they peaked at over 9.6K. Despite numbers dropping last year, threat levels remained high at some 7.5K.[5]
    • In recent months, Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) has been attacked in her Washington, DC apartment building, and an aide for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) suffered life-threatening injuries after being stabbed on H street.[6]


    Democratic narrative

    Prominent Democrats and left-leaning figures have been targeted in increasing numbers of attacks in recent months, yet their right-wing fellows have consistently failed to condemn political violence, even making jokes about such incidents. It is no wonder that the suspect in the latest attack on Democrats is a far-right conspiracy theorist who claimed he has been secretly surveilled and "tortured from the fourth dimension."

    Republican narrative

    Though this incident is indeed worrisome, it is vital to stress that Democrats have been trying to deceive the public into believing that mounting attacks on members of Congress reflect some organized action against their ranks. In fact, both sides of the political spectrum have suffered from threats and violence, evident in the brutal attack on the aide to Republican Sen. Rand Paul.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 2% chance that the USA will enter a second civil war before 2031, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Political split



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