Politics

Scalise Shooter Carried Hit List of GOP Congressmen

FBI investigators find names of conservative lawmakers in pocket of left-wing gunman

The left-wing gunman James T. Hodgkinson, who ambushed GOP lawmakers Wednesday, was carrying a list of several Republican congressmen inside his pocket at the time, the Daily Caller first reported Friday.

Washington, D.C., ground to a screeching halt Wednesday after Hodgkinson opened fire on a group of GOP congressmen practicing early in the morning for Thursday’s Congressional Baseball Game, an annual charity event and one of the city’s few bipartisan efforts. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was critically wounded on the practice field in Alexandria, Virginia, and Hodgkinson died of his wounds after Capitol Police officers took him down.

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The list in Hodgkinson’s pocket, recovered by the FBI, reportedly contained the names of six congressmen in the conservative House Freedom Caucus: Reps. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Jeff Duncan (R-SC..), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), and Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), as well as other identifying information.

Although none of those listed were injured during the attack, both Brooks and Duncan were on the field that day. Brooks told CNN that Capitol Police contacted him and told him his name and office number were included on the list. Although Franks didn’t confirm the list’s existence on CNN, he said “it’s clear that [the shooting] was premeditated.”

Just prior to the shooting, Duncan and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) had left the baseball practice when they encountered a middle-aged white man they now believe was Hodgkinson. DeSantis said Wednesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” the man “was really interested whether it was Republicans or Democrats out there,” and when they told him Republicans were practicing, he walked away toward the field. The two thought it was “odd” and reported it to the police after the shooting.

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“Five, 10 minutes later, you hear that there was a shooting spree, which was just crazy,” DeSantis said. “I want to know if it was the same guy that confronted us when we were walking out.”

The list of GOP congressmen’s names in the shooter’s pocket adds further context to his motivations for carrying out his attack.

Hodgkinson, 66, who reportedly volunteered for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential campaign, left a trail of violent, left-wing hate on his social media accounts, including a post in which he said, “It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” He belonged to one Facebook group called “Terminate The Republican Party,” along with another one called “The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans.”

The Daily Caller also noted that Hodgkinson referred to Scalise on Facebook, typing, “Here’s a Republican that [sic] should Lose His Job, but they Gave Him a Raise.”

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Friday on “Fox News” the revelation that the shooter carried the list on his person “makes it more terrifying to realize how specific he was.”

“And again, it should be a signal. I’m not saying Democrats and Republicans here. There are people who are carrying things to extremes, and it does set off a psychopath like this,” King added. “I think it’s important for all of us to realize that especially people who carry resistance to almost violent demonstrations.”

Sanders spoke out against Hodgkinson Wednesday, calling the shooting from his former campaign volunteer a “despicable act.”

“I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be: Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society, and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” Sanders said. “Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values.”

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