Dems want domestic terrorism probe
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Democrats want the Senate to investigate domestic terrorism in the wake of a South Carolina shooting that left nine dead. 
 
Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyDem senators want hearing on funding for detained migrant children Dem senators request classified briefing on Khashoggi Congress raises pressure on Saudi Arabia MORE (Vt.), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee; Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDurbin: Republicans are making it 'as hard as possible' to vote GOP Rep. Rodney Davis wins reelection in Illinois Dem senators request classified briefing on Khashoggi MORE (Ill.); Richard Blumenthal (Conn.); Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinHow Republicans are likely to handle Democrat-led investigations  Feinstein: Acting AG must pledge to Senate he won't interfere with Mueller Kavanaugh report shows why the presumption of innocence is key MORE (Calif.); Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsIs Matthew Whitaker stooge or savior? His actions will tell us Dem senators urge Pompeo to reverse visa policy on diplomats' same-sex partners 15 Saudis identified in disappearance of Washington Post columnist MORE (Del.) and Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenSenate GOP beats expectations with expanded majority Democrat Smith wins in Minnesota, will serve remainder of Franken term Harvey Weinstein accused of sexually assaulting 16-year-old girl: reports MORE (Minn.) said in a letter sent to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money: Trump says he won't give up tax returns | Likely Dem chair vows to subpoena | Stocks rally on Dem House takeover | Tough midterm for many GOP tax writers Feinstein: Acting AG must pledge to Senate he won't interfere with Mueller Grassley to make chairmanship decision after meeting with colleagues next week MORE (R-Iowa) that lawmakers "must address the reality of domestic terrorism spurred by racial hatred head on."
 
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"We urge you to hold hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee on the threat posed by domestic terrorism and homegrown hate groups," the senators said in the Tuesday letter. "In the past, mass violence in our country has been explained away as an act of insanity to be treated as a mental health issue. What we saw in South Carolina is about hate, and it is about evil."
 
The letter comes after a gunman opened fire earlier this month on congregants at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., killing nine.
 
The six senators, who are members of the Judiciary Committee, suggested that the hearings could focus on domestic terrorism and "homegrown hate groups," including how the groups recruit and spread their ideology, as well as how they plan out their attacks and choose potential targets.
 
The committee previously held a hearing on hate crimes after a 2012 shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. 
 
The Department of Justice announced earlier this month that federal officials would investigate the Charleston shooting as a hate crime, but the senators said it must also be looked at as an act of domestic terrorism. 
 
"We often think of terrorism as the sacrifice of innocent lives in service to a murderous ideology, and [suspect Dylann] Roof’s actions were clearly driven by bizarre and perverse beliefs," they said. "If this same act had been perpetrated by someone claiming a desire to harm Americans in the service of Islamist principles, it would immediately be labeled an act of terror."