The FBI privately informed lawmakers in November of 2017 that the attempted massacre of GOP lawmakers on an Alexandria, Virginia baseball field that June was a “suicide by cop,” a GOP congressman revealed last week. That determination deviated from all of the known facts about the gunman’s political motivations, and conflicted with the conclusions of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) brought up the previously undisclosed information during a House Intelligence Committee hearing with FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday, noting that the shooting rampage was at least as bad as the Capitol Hill riot on Jan. 6.
Committed leftist James Hodgkinson was living in his van near the field at the time, and opened fire on them after inquiring whether they were Republican or Democrat.
“We know from his social media posts that he hated Republicans and he hated President Trump,” Wenstrup said. “He loved Bernie Sanders, and he held left-wing beliefs. We know that he carried in his pocket that day a target list with names of Republican congressmen … that included their physical descriptions.”
The congressman went on to note that Hodgkinson was heavily armed and fired 136 rounds that morning, hitting Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise in the hip, nearly killing him.
Wenstrup pointed out that Scalise’s security detail was also there unbeknownst to the shooter because they were in an unmarked car.
“By the grace of God, none of us were killed, although five were wounded, including both Capitol police,” he added. “Without police being there and responding, this insurrection would have been a massacre. Trapped on the field, 20 to 30 Republicans assassinated, and the attacker may have believed that he could change the balance of power in the U.S. House of Representatives in one morning.”
During the course of the Bureau’s “investigation” of the incident, none of the Republican witnesses were contacted, the congressman complained.
On November 16, 2017, according to Wenstrup, the FBI agents briefed the Republican members who were on the field that day. The agents began, he said, by giving them an “overview of some of the events of that day” as if they didn’t already know it. “We were there. We were witnesses,” the congressman pointed out.
“Much to our shock that day, the FBI concluded that this was a case of the attacker seeking suicide by cop,” Wenstrup said. “Director, you want suicide by cop, you just pull a gun on a cop. It doesn’t take 136 rounds. It takes one bullet. Both the DHS and the ODNI published products labeling this attack as a domestic violent extremism event, specifically targeting Republican members of Congress. The FBI did not. The FBI still has not.”
Alexandria prosecutors also publicly labeled the attack “terrorism,” according to Politico.
“The evidence in this case establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect, fueled by rage against Republican legislators, decided to commit an act of terrorism as that term is defined by the Code of Virginia,” commonwealth prosecutor Bryan Porter concluded.
“My colleagues across the aisle don’t seem particularly concerned about this event,” Wenstrup added, in an apparent jibe at their ongoing hysteria regarding the Jan. 6 “insurrection.”
He said he visited the FBI just two days later to “discuss” the sketchy “suicide by cop” conclusion.
“Although the agents were not part of that investigation, they did not agree that this was suicide by cop, and it’s my firsthand opinion that this was an attempt at assassination of many Republican members of Congress,” Wenstrup told Wray.
Wenstrup produced a letter formally requesting the FBI to do a proper investigation of the incident and investigate how the FBI had come to the bogus conclusion that Hodgkinson had committed “suicide by cop.”
The FBI director did not directly address Wenstrup’s comments about the FBI’s determination, other than to say that he was not the FBI director at the time. The FBI Director in June of 2017 was the corrupt and partisan Andrew McCabe of RussiaGate fame.
But Wray did object to Wenstrup’s characterization of the FBI’s reputation as “degraded,” insisting that the reputation of the FBI was “deeply important” to him, and that he has been committed to making sure that the FBI does “the right thing.”
“The reputation that I see and hear of our people and the great work they’re doing out in those communities differs greatly—with all due respect—to the assessment that we just heard,” Wray said. “And I would add to that that over the past couple of years, the number of Americans applying to be special agents of the FBI has tripled from the years before I started in the job.”
Rep. Trent Kelly (R-Miss.), who narrowly missed getting shot at close range, echoed Wenstrup’s call for the FBI to revisit the matter.
“It was not a suicide by cop,” Kelly said. “And I would really wish you guys would follow up and clean that up because it matters to me.”
Scalise also weighed in on Twitter Wednesday.
“I was shot by a deranged Leftist who came to the baseball field with a list of Congressional Republicans to kill,” he tweeted. “This was NOT ‘suicide by cop.’ End of story.”
I was shot by a deranged Leftist who came to the baseball field with a list of Congressional Republicans to kill.
This was NOT “suicide by cop.”
End of story. https://t.co/cSGYZeQO3I
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) April 21, 2021
It wasn’t immediately clear why it took nearly four years for this information to come out.