One of many Republican congressmen who survived an tried mass taking pictures at a Virginia baseball subject in 2017 is demanding the FBI reassess the assault after he revealed throughout a listening to final week that the bureau had designated the incident a “suicide by cop.”
“This conclusion defies logic and contradicts the publicly recognized information in regards to the perpetrator and the assault,” Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, wrote in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray. “The shooter had an intensive social media report highlighting his hatred of President Trump and Republicans.”
The gunman, James Hodgkinson, fired nicely over 100 rounds on the congressmen, their aides and others current on the ballfield.
He had requested whether or not the ballplayers have been Democrats or Republicans earlier than opening hearth and was carrying an inventory of GOP lawmakers and their bodily descriptions. The GOP staff was there working towards for an annual charity baseball sport during which the 2 events had squared off yearly since 1909.
Many took refuge within the reverse dugout as Capitol police, who have been close by as a result of Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., as a member of Home management had a safety element, and responding officers from Alexandria, Va., exchanged gunfire with the attacker for 10 minutes earlier than taking him out.
Scalise, then the Home Majority Whip, was severely injured within the taking pictures and almost died. On Wednesday, he ripped the newly unveiled conclusion, which Wenstrup mentioned had been instructed privately to members 5 months after the assault.
“I used to be shot by a deranged leftist who got here to the baseball subject with an inventory of congressional Republicans to kill,” he mentioned Wednesday. “This was not ‘suicide by cop.’ Finish of story.”
A spokesperson for the FBI confirmed the bureau had obtained Wenstrup’s letter however declined to remark additional. The bureau mentioned in 2017 that Hodgkinson had been an lively critic of Republicans on social media however had not made any “threats or references” to members of Congress or the baseball subject.
Scalise detailed the harrowing assault in his 2018 guide, “Again within the Recreation,” writing how the gunman fired a 7.62-caliber spherical into his hip, shattering his femur and pelvis and spinning his physique round.
“The taking pictures hasn’t stopped; I do know that,” Scalise wrote. “I can hear increasingly more gunfire. I do know that to outlive I’ve to run away from it. I do know I can’t run away from it as a result of I can’t transfer my legs.”
Along with Scalise, two Capitol law enforcement officials and several other aides and lobbyists in attendance have been additionally injured within the assault.
Different legislation enforcement and intelligence businesses, together with the Division of Homeland Safety and the Virginia lawyer basic, have been fast to publicly label the incident home terrorism.
However the FBI by no means made a public declaration, and the “suicide by cop” principle got here to gentle solely final week when Wenstrup was grilling FBI Director Christopher Wray throughout a Home Intelligence Committee listening to.
“A lot to our shock that day, the FBI concluded that this was a case of the attacker in search of ‘suicide by cop,’” Wenstrup instructed Wray throughout a listening to final Thursday in regards to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. “Director, you need suicide by cop, you simply pull a gun on a cop. It does not take 136 rounds. It takes one bullet. Each the DHS and the ODNI revealed merchandise labeling this assault as a home violent extremism occasion, particularly focusing on Republican members of Congress. The FBI didn’t.”
Wenstrup’s revelation prompted followup questions from Democratic Reps. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., who additionally pushed Wray for a proof.
The FBI director famous that he was not in his present function on the time of the taking pictures.