Anti-tax group contacted by FBI in baseball shooting investigation … – Politico
The FBI has reached out to Americans for Tax Reform in connection with its investigation of the shooter at last week’s congressional baseball practice, the group’s president Grover Norquist said at a private meeting Wednesday.
A source who attended the conservative policy group’s meeting said Norquist revealed that both he and ATR were mentioned either in physical or electronic files found among the possessions of the attacker, James Hodgkinson, who died following a shootout with police.
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There’s no indication that the influential anti-tax group is a central focus of the investigation, but the source said ATR staff have been told to reach out to the FBI with any information about Hodgkinson, including whether he ever contacted anyone from the organization.
ATR officials declined to comment on the meeting, saying the weekly gatherings are typically off the record events.
According to details released Wednesday by the FBI, Hodgkinson, 66, an Illinois native, had camped out in Alexandria, Va. for months before the shooting, which nearly killed House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and left two police officers, a lobbyist and a House aide wounded.
The FBI’s inquiry has determined that Hodgkinson used an SKS rifle and a 9mm handgun — both purchased lawfully — during the early-morning attack, which came as GOP lawmakers were practicing for their annual charity baseball game.
In a search of his possessions and social media posts, the FBI discovered that Hodgkinson had repeatedly posted “anti-Republican views” but that all of his messages were protected First Amendment speech. Still, the outreach to ATR, suggests that authorities are still probing potential political motivations behind the shooting.
“Analysis of Hodgkinson’s phone and e-mail accounts are ongoing,” the FBI statement said.
FBI officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment about its contact with the group.
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