In October, Sen. Tom Cotton's (R-AR) office sent cease and desist letters to individuals they believed were harassing his staff.
It was a decision critics are using to charge Cotton with silencing his constituents. Arkansas Times contributor Billy Fleming shared one person's surprised response at having received the note.
I received a letter from the office of U.S. Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas after calling and expressing my grave concerns over his actions and support of this administration's agenda concerning a wide variety of subjects from the attack on our healthcare, DACA and immigration issues, to national security, to the rise of white nationalist fascism, to the environment, the gutting of our State Department, the attack on the free press...and similar deeply troubling actions & motives I've seen Senator Cotton support & condone. It was odd to receive this letter as I've called other Members of Congress to express my strong thoughts and opinions about their actions and thought this to be not only my duty as an American citizen but my First Amendment right granted all U.S. citizens by our U.S. Constitution, the foundation of our Democracy.
I believe if Tom Cotton's office were to respond as to why they sent this letter, I think they just honestly don't want to listen to any citizen's opposing view or hear the numerous grave concerns U.S. citizens have about the serious & ongoing attack on our Democracy and past election cycle in which a foreign, hostile Russian government interfered, they don't want U.S. citizens to call and speak their mind and truth in a very direct manner and they obviously don't want to be held accountable for their words and actions while serving all the people in this nation. I may have used unprofessional and unbecoming language at times as the anxiety and stress of what I'm witnessing is at times too great a burden to control and I have vehemently expressed my righteous anger at Senator Cotton's complicitness with this harmful regime. (Arkansas Times)
Cotton's communications director Caroline Rabbitt Tabler, however, told the Washington Examiner the letters were "only used under extreme circumstances."
The letter that was sent to a constituent was mailed because that individual called one of Cotton's 19-year-old interns a vulgar word and threatened her physically, according to John Noonan, Cotton's counselor on defense issues.
1. This went out to a single constituent, not a group.— John Noonan (@noonanjo) January 18, 2018
2. That constituent called a 19 year old intern a c***.
3. Constituent had multiple warnings.
4. Letter went out in October.
5. We have a very different understanding of “BREAKING” https://t.co/SHlFEII7hp