GOP chairmen request FBI briefing on Florida shooting

GOP chairmen request FBI briefing on Florida shooting
© Greg Nash

Two powerful House GOP chairmen on Friday requested an FBI briefing on the Florida school shooting after the bureau admitted standard "protocols" were not followed when it received a tip about the 19-year-old suspect.

Reps. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyTrey Gowdy joins Fox News as a contributor Congress must take the next steps on federal criminal justice reforms Lynch testimony marks final interview of GOP-led probe MORE (R-S.C.) and Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteIt’s time for Congress to pass an anti-cruelty statute DOJ opinion will help protect kids from dangers of online gambling House GOP probe into FBI, DOJ comes to an end MORE (R-Va.), who chair the House Oversight and Government Reform and Judiciary committees, respectively, sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting information on why the agency did not follow up when it received a tip about Nikolas Cruz.

"In the wake of this tragic shooting, Cruz's past has been sifted through to determine whether there were warning signs that he was capable of such monstrous actions. There were," the lawmakers wrote Friday.


"On January 5, 2018, the FBI received a tip about Cruz. According to FBI's protocols, this information 'should have been assessed as a potential threat to life.' The Committees are seeking to understand these protocols and why they were not followed in this case," the letter continued.

The GOP chairmen's letter comes hours after the FBI acknowledged it failed to follow up on a tip from someone close to the accused shooter last month. The tipster warned about Cruz's gun ownership and mental instability, and expressed concern about him potentially carrying out a school shooting. The FBI said it did not notify its Miami field office of the tip.

"Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life," the FBI said in a statement. "The information then should have been forwarded to the FBI Miami field office, where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken."

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight The Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war McCabe book: Sessions once said FBI was better off when it 'only hired Irishmen' MORE ordered a review of the FBI and Justice Department's procedures following the bureau's admission on Friday.

“It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed. We see the tragic consequences of those failures," Sessions said in a statement.

“The FBI in conjunction with our state and local partners must act flawlessly to prevent all attacks. This is imperative, and we must do better."

Cruz is accused of killing 17 people and wounding more than a dozen others during a shooting at his former high school. His lawyer told ABC News on Friday that Cruz is willing to plead guilty in exchange for prosecutors guaranteeing they will not to seek the death penalty.