A list found on the body of Alexandria shooter James T. Hodgkinson had the names of three prominent Republican lawmakers on it, The Daily Caller reported Friday.
The list was a further indication that Wednesday’s attack on a Republican baseball practice in Virginia was a politically motivated assassination attempt.
Multiple sources confirmed to The Daily Caller that the list was written on notebook paper and stuffed in the gunman’s pocket. Fox News reported later in the day that the names of other lawmakers were found on a list in Hodgkinson’s van by the FBI. It was not clear from the early reports whether the two lists were separate or whether there was some confusion among news sources as to where the list was found.
The Daily Caller reported that Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan and Arizona Rep. Trent Franks were named on the list.
Fox News reported that the list not only contained those names but also those of Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais, Virginia Rep. Morgan Griffith and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.
All of the Republicans on Hodgkinson’s alleged kill list are members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group that represents the conservative wing of the GOP in the lower chamber. Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip and the only House member shot in the attack, was not on the list. He is also not a member of the Freedom Caucus.
The alleged kill list wasn’t the only thing pointing toward a premeditated political attack by Hodgkinson, either. The New York Times reported that in addition to the list, Hodgkinson had pictures of the baseball field stored on his cell phone and had spent time at a YMCA next to the park for “several weeks … using its locker room facilities and sitting for hours in the lobby while on his laptop.”
Rep. Duncan, who was at the ballpark and was on the alleged kill list, also reported Hodgkinson asked him about the political affiliation of the practicing lawmakers just before the shooting.
“I told him they were Republicans,” Duncan said. “He said, ‘OK, thanks,’ turned around.”
The sad thing about this is that we’ll still continue to hear heaps of palaver from the media about how “we simply don’t know” what motivated this shooter, as if his motives were totally inscrutable. The discovery of this list — and the fact that everyone on it was a member of the House Freedom Caucus — should make it abundantly clear that this was a political attack.
The list also reveals that Hodgkinson’s rampage was meant to be nothing short of a bloodbath. Thankfully, armed Capitol Police officers were on hand to intervene. The next time, we might not be so lucky. If we’re to remedy the atmosphere that created this senseless attack, we need to first acknowledge what motivated it.
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