(USA Features) House Minority Whip Steve Scalise blasted the FBI on Saturday for claiming that a known left-wing activist and supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders went to a ball field where Republicans were practicing for their annual congressional game in the summer of 2017 because he wanted to be killed by police, otherwise known as “suicide by cop.”
“This was not ‘suicide by cop.’ Anybody who’s studied the police report, who was there on the ball field that day, all of us know what happened,” the Louisiana Republican, who was nearly killed and required several surgeries to recover, told Fox News.
“He went to that ball field to target and kill Republicans. He made it clear that was what his intention was,” Scalise continued. He actually had a list of Republican members of Congress in his pocket who he was targeting to kill.”
“And for the FBI to have classified it as that, it’s disturbing, it’s offensive, and it’s inaccurate. And so we’re asking that the FBI correct this record,” he said.
Scalise said his House colleague, Rep. Brad Wenstrup, first requested the FBI to change the designation during a House Intelligence Committee hearing with FBI Director Christopher Wray.
“FBI Director [Christopher] Wray, who was not the director at the time this happened, and actually, to his credit, Director Wray said he would look into it. So hopefully, we’ll get this fixed because it’s a disservice to the police as well to classify it that way,” Scalise said.
After the hearing, Wenstrup made his request formal in a letter to the bureau.
“I am extremely frustrated that the FBI failed to conduct thorough interviews during the initial investigation. After canvassing multiple Members of Congress present during the attack, I am not aware that any of my colleagues present that day were interviewed as witnesses, including me,” he wrote.
“As a Member who was present during the attack and the November 2017 briefing, and as a senior member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I request that the FBI Counterterrorism Division promptly review the investigative findings, interview all relevant witnesses, and update, as appropriate, the investigative conclusions — including an internal investigation of how the FBI reached its ‘suicide by cop’ conclusion,” the Ohio Republican added.
Matt Mika, a Tyson Foods lobbyist who also coaches the GOP softball team and was hit during the attack, also pushed back on the FBI’s claim, telling Fox News that it is “not accurate.”
On June 14, 2017, the lone shooter, James Hodgkinson of Illinois, a known supporter of Sanders, used an SKS rifle and a 9 mm handgun to shoot at 24 Republican members of Congress. He reportedly asked a bystander before he started shooting if the players on the field were Republicans.