On Wednesday, the FBI released new information on gunman James Hodgkinson (66) who unleashed a hail of bullets on June 15 in an attempt to assassinate Republican Majority Whip Steve Scalise. According to the FBI, Hodgkinson visited the office of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and also exchanged emails with two senators from Illinois prior to the shooting. 
 
However, according to the FBI Hodgkinson acted alone in the attempt at mass killing, in which five persons were wounded. Hodgkinson himself was shot and killed by police on the scene. Officers found a semi-automatic rifle and a pistol in his possession, as well as a note in Hodgkinson’s pocket bearing the names of six members of Congress.
 
Before the attack, Hodgkinson left his wife and home in Illinois and began living in a van outside of Washington metro area. He visited various tourist spots in Washington before striking. He visited the Washington office of Senator Sanders, on whose presidential campaign he had worked. Hodgkinson also visited the offices of  Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both of whom are Democrats.
 
After the assault, Sanders issued a public statement denouncing Hodgkinson. "I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign," Sanders said in the statement. "I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.” Elsewhere, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi blamed President Trump and Republicans for using rhetoric that leads to political violence.
 

 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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