Senators renew request for domestic threats documents from FBI, DOJ after shootings

Senators renew request for domestic threats documents from FBI, DOJ after shootings
© Aaron Schwartz
Top senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are doubling down on a request for details from the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) about how they handle "all forms of domestic terrorism" after the weekend's two mass shootings. 
 
Sens. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonDemocratic senator warns O'Rourke AR-15 pledge could haunt party for years Conservatives offer stark warning to Trump, GOP on background checks Hillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks MORE (R-Wis.) and Gary PetersGary Charles PetersHillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks Lawmakers weigh responses to rash of ransomware attacks Dem senator calls for Pentagon watchdog to probe Air Force's Trump resort stay MORE (D-Mich.), the chairman and ranking member of the committee, respectively, sent letters on Monday to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrFeehery: Impeachment fever bad for Democratic governing vision Trump awards Yankees legend Mariano Rivera the Medal of Freedom Supreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration MORE noting they had failed to respond to a May letter asking for information on how they track, categorize and share information related to domestic terrorism and threats. 
 
"Since the date of our request, there have been numerous mass attacks, including Virginia Beach, VA; Gilroy, CA; El, Paso, TX; and Dayton, OH. ... These continued mass attacks make it clear that the federal government has more work to do in preventing domestic terrorism," the two senators wrote to Barr and Wray in separate letters, which were obtained by The Hill ahead of their release. 
 
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They added that they have concerns that the FBI and DOJ have "failed to accurately track data on domestic terrorism and that federal law enforcement has been slow to respond to changing domestic threats." 
 
"In the wake of such senseless tragedy, we ask that you immediately respond to our May 8, 2019 letter and provide the committee with the requested documents to aid in its oversight work," Johnson and Peters wrote in their letters. 
 
The letters come after a gunman killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday. Less than a day later, at least nine people were killed and more than two dozen were injured in a Dayton, Ohio, shooting. The two shootings are not believed to be linked.
 
President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE, speaking from the White House, called on the nation to condemn white supremacy and threw his support behind new measures focused on mental illness.

"In one voice, our nation must condemn bigotry, hatred and white supremacy," Trump said. "These sinister ideologies must be defeated."

In initial letters sent to Wray and Barr in May, Johnson and Peters requested a breakdown of the number of people killed by domestic terrorist acts since 2009, how the FBI and DOJ try to prevent domestic terrorism, including a list of staff and resources, and how they use social media to prevent domestic terrorism. 
 
They also want copies of any FBI intelligence reporting since 2009 related to domestic terrorism and copies of any agreements between the FBI, DOJ, Department of Homeland Security, and state and local law enforcement on information sharing about domestic terrorism.