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 JohnsonGraham vows Biden, Ukraine probe after impeachment trial GOP warns of 'drawn out' executive privilege battle over Bolton testimony  Senate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses MORE (R-Wis.) and Gary PetersGary Charles PetersHillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Bipartisan group of senators introduces legislation to boost state cybersecurity leadership The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial 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 Barr DOJ says surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Page lacked evidence Senators press DHS over visa approval for Pensacola naval base shooter Democrats sharpen case on second day of arguments 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 TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg 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.