Douglas Andrews / April 23, 2021

The FBI’s ‘Death by Cop’ Whitewash

The attempted massacre of congressional Republicans at a 2017 baseball practice was anything but “death by cop.”

We’d say this doesn’t pass the giggle test, but it’s not funny. Not at all funny.

Back on June 14, 2017, a deranged leftist and Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer named James Hodgkinson opened fire on a group of congressional Republicans who were practicing on a nearby Alexandria ball field for their annual Congressional Baseball Game. The assailant kept firing until he was ultimately engaged and killed by two Capitol cops.

As the Washington Examiner’s Jake Dima reports, “Hodgkinson struck [then-House Majority Whip Steve] Scalise in the hip, hit a lobbyist in the chest, and injured two U.S. Capitol Police officers in the spree. Scalise required multiple surgeries before returning to Congress after he nearly bled to death on the field.”

So when we learned this week that the FBI had in late 2017 privately informed GOP House members that this attack was a case of “suicide by cop,” we were, to say the least, puzzled. Especially since it was commonly reported at the time that Hodgkinson, before he went on his rampage, had both the curiosity and the premeditative mindset to ask a bystander if the players on the field were Republicans or Democrats.

A question, then, for the FBI: Since when does a guy who’s hell-bent on getting killed by cops care about the political affiliation of the people upon whom he’s about to open fire?

As the Examiner’s Dima continues, “Rep. Brad Wenstrup, an Ohio Republican, broke the news to the public [last Thursday] during a House Intelligence Committee meeting, saying the Republicans were alerted of the development approximately five months after a gunman opened fire.”

Wenstrup, a former Iraq War combat surgeon, directed his remarks to pencil-pushing FBI Director Christopher Wray: “Much to our shock that day,” Wenstrup said, “the FBI concluded that this was a case of the attacker seeking suicide by cop. 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 (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) published products labeling this attack as a domestic violent extremism event, specifically targeting Republican members of Congress. The FBI did not.”

The FBI did not.

Alexandria’s top prosecutor also bucked the bureau. “The evidence in this case,” said Bryan Porter, “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.”

As Politico reports, “Wray did not directly address Wenstrup’s criticism, other than to confirm he was not the FBI director at the time — a role held in June 2017 by Andrew McCabe — but said he was grateful to Capitol Police and to Wenstrup, a doctor, who used his skills that day to triage injured lawmakers and others who joined them.”

It figures that the corrupt McCabe was in charge at the time. What a rodent. We wonder what he makes of these additional comments from Wenstrup: “We know from [Hodgkinson’s] social media posts that he hated Republicans and that he hated President Trump. He loved Bernie Sanders and he held left-wing beliefs. We know he carried in his pocket that day a target list with names of Republican congressmen … that included their physical descriptions.”

In addition to Wenstrup, there was another doctor at the ball field that day: Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. “It would seem,” he said, “that [Hodgkinson’s] goal was to kill individual members of Congress since he had a list of targets in his pocket. He also was heard to yell, ‘This is for healthcare!’ To argue that this assassination attempt was suicide by cop is unsupported by the facts.”

We should remember, too, what Paul said just minutes after the incident: “Without Capitol Hill police, it would have been a massacre. We had no defense. We had no defense at all. I think we’re lucky Scalise was there because this was his security detail and without them it would have been a massacre.”

Suicide by cop when the cops might not have even been there?

In sum, what we have here is a sham investigation by our nation’s premier law enforcement agency — an investigation that should trouble every American who appreciates law and order and who wonders what on earth has become of our once-proud, once-vaunted, now disgustingly politicized FBI.

As for the last word, we’ll leave it to the man who nearly died that day: “I was shot by a deranged Leftist who came to the baseball field with a list of Congressional Republicans to kill,” said Steve Scalise. “This was NOT ‘suicide by cop.’ End of story.”


Update 5/17: Nearly a month later, the FBI finally bowed to reality and reclassified the shooting as domestic terrorism.

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