From a good BuzzFeed piece on the attempted mass shooting of congressional Republicans.
But many lawmakers are mad, or frustrated, or saddened, at how quickly the story disappeared from the headlines given that the shooter, James T. Hodgkinson, targeted Republicans. The FBI concluded the shooting wasn’t politically motivated — suicide by cop, they told members after an investigation.
But Hodgkinson carried a list of names of lawmakers in his pocket: Mo Brooks, Jim Jordan, Trent Franks, Scott DesJarlais, Jeff Duncan, and Morgan Griffith. The list included their office numbers and short physical descriptions. He’d recorded video of the field in April of of that year — a sign, the prosecutor wrote in his official report, that Hodgkinson “had already selected Simpson field as a potential target as early as April 2017.”
His social media was filled with Bernie and anti-Republican content.
A spokesperson for the FBI’s Washington Field Office said that Hodgkinson “espoused anti-Republican rhetoric,” but that because Hodgkinson is dead, “We may never know his motivations.”
The FBI has no trouble figuring out the motives of dead killers and terrorists. Especially when they leave behind clear evidence of their motive, intention and worldview.
Let's imagine a pro-life activist, who had spent a lot of time posting pro-life material to his Facebook page, went up to an abortion clinic, asked if this is where they do the abortions and shot it up. Is there any possibility that the FBI would insist that his motives were unknowable?
“I think most people were really upset,” Palmer says. “I think I may have been the first one that really called them out, and then after I did everybody kind of piled on. I guess everybody was upset. Everybody knew that what they were saying was a crock. The guy had a list. He came there to shoot Republicans.”
He thinks they “misrepresented what happened because of concerns over the political fallout.”
“I felt like they blew it off.”
“They said, ‘So essentially this was suicide by cop.’ And we’re like, ‘Only?’ And I can tell you, I can buy that from what I saw at the end, where he walked out openly shooting,” Wenstrup says. “But let’s not kid ourselves here. You look at his website. He hates Republicans. He had the names of six Republicans in his pocket. He had — his social media is full of it. He camped out there for two months planning this, to kill Republicans. Did he hope to die at the end? Maybe.”
The bizarre claim made by FBI people that it wasn't politically motivated remains one of the most shockingly underreported stories. It's a signpost of something deeply rotten. A warning that the FBI leadership answers to a Democrat agenda.
Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., told CNBC that a man came up to him and Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., at the practice and asked if the players on the field were Republicans or Democrats.
“We both agreed that that individual who came up to us and asked if it was Republicans or Democrats ... is the same individual police have identified," DeSantis said. "That picture is the same guy that we saw.”
The gunman who shot a top House Republican and four other people on a Virginia baseball field didn’t have any concrete plans to inflict violence on the Republicans he loathed, FBI officials said Wednesday.
They said he acted alone and had no connections to terror groups. But they said they had not yet clarified who, if anyone, he planned to target, or why, beyond his animus toward President Donald Trump and the Republicans he felt were ruining the country. It wasn’t even clear whether he had prior plans to attack the baseball practice or whether he just happened upon it the morning of June 14, said Tim Slater, who leads the criminal division of the FBI’s Washington field office.
“At this point in the investigation, it appears more spontaneous,” Slater said.
Hodgkinson had a piece of paper with the names of six members of Congress written on it, Slater said, but the note lacked any further context and there was no evidence from his computer, phone or other belongings that indicated he planned to target those officials. Slater declined to name the officials whose names were on the note or say whether they were Republicans or Democrats or were at the baseball practice.
In April, Hogkinson made the tourist rounds in Washington, visiting monuments, museums, the U.S. Capitol and the Dirksen Senate Office Building and taking pictures, the FBI said. He also took pictures of the baseball field where he would later fire more than 60 shots.
“The FBI does not believe that these photographs represented surveillance of intended targets,” the FBI said in a statement.
Timothy Slater, special agent in charge of the criminal division for the Washington field office, would not classify it as a hit list, saying it was only "a piece of paper."
"If you look at his pattern of life and what he was doing on his laptop and social media accounts, there was no indication that that was a list to target or that there were any threats associated with those names on the list," Slater said.
If you look at my original piece on the subject, there's more analysis of what the FBI put out. And it's classic cover-up.
We've been digging a great deal into the Trump investigation. But this is an example that doesn't involve Trump. Some of the targets were even Never Trumpers. And the FBI would not have been motivated here by anti-Trump animus.
Instead this is something else.
What would motivate FBI figures to blatantly cover-up an attempted mass shooting of Republicans? The simple answer, without delving into conspiracy theories, is that they believed that telling the truth would undermine the Democrats while aiding the Republicans.
And they were willing to cover up the motives of a political assassin to do it.