During a hearing about the government’s response to white supremacy, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) demanded to know why incidents of domestic terrorism weren’t treated with the same consistency under the Department of Justice.
“We’ve also heard from experts that whether the FBI classifies extremist violence as, ‘domestic terrorism, or a hate crime,’ has major implications on resource allocation and prioritization within the bureau,” she said. “Mr. McGarrity, the FBI considers preventing terrorism its number one priority, isn’t that right?”
He agreed that it was. Another representative explained how the department prioritizes hate crimes, answering that it was the top priority, but only under the Civil Rights Division of the FBI. At times those cases can overlap, so it can be the case where there is an open investigation in one department or the other.
“We have seen white supremacist attacks that were clearly domestic terrorism,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Experts, in fact — the former acting AG, Jeff Sessions, even called some of these incidents domestic terrorism incidents. The Emmanuel A.M.E. church shooting of black Americans in Charlottesville and the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh of Jewish people. Those were only designated and charged as hate crimes not domestic terrorist incidents.”
She asked why they weren’t considered to be domestic terrorism, but McGarrity replied that they absolutely were and had open cases on them. He noted that he wasn’t present for the Dylann Roof case but that it fell under the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. He said that the DOJ too viewed the Tree of Life attack as domestic terrorism and was treated as both a hate crime and terrorism.
The problem seemed to be that the DOJ cannot charge someone with domestic terrorism, he claimed. There are laws that would allow for a foreign terrorist to be charged but not a domestic terrorist.
“So what we do, both on the international terrorism side with the home-grown extremists and domestic terrorists, we’ll use any tool in the tool kit to arrest them,” he said. “Should it be after — it’s a good federal charge for us to use.”
His answer proved that there are two different and conflicting testimonies from witnesses on this topic. In two previous cases, the San Bernardino shooting and the Pulse Night Club shooting, both men were charged with a terrorism charge. The DOJ official said he’d have to go back to look, but he thinks they were charged under international terrorism laws.
Ocasio-Cortez asked how the discrepancy could exist. The only difference between Dylann Roof and the Pulse Night Club shooter was their religion and race. Both were Americans.
Watch ACO grill them below:
Pelosi smacks down Fox News reporter’s question — and hilariously explains to Trump what ‘exculpatory’ means
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday smacked down Fox News reporter Chad Pergram after he insinuated that House Democrats seemed "excited" about the prospect of impeaching President Donald Trump.
During a press conference, Pergram asked Pelosi, "Why would the public not think that the House is dead set on a course to impeach the president when all of this milieu was going on?"
"All this milieu is a seeking of the truth," she replied. "It's called an inquiry."
Pelosi at this point turned to the camera and seemed to address Trump directly.
"And if the president has something that is exculpatory -- Mr. President, that means if you have anything that shows your innocence -- then he should make that known," she said. "And that's part of the inquiry. So far we haven't seen that."
‘That’s bribery’: Nancy Pelosi explains why Trump is in deeper water than he thinks
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday explained why President Donald Trump could be guilty of attempted bribery.
At a press conference, Pelosi pointed out that bribery is named in the U.S. Constitution as an impeachable offense.
"What is the bribe?" the Speaker was asked.
"The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance [from Ukraine] in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That is bribery," she explained.
Watch the video from Fox News.
LIVE COVERAGE: Multiple victims reported in Southern California school shooting
Police are searching for a shooter who opened fire at southern California high school.
The Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's office tweeted Thursday around 8 a.m. local time that shots had been fired at Saugus High School.
Saugus was placed on lockdown, along with nearby elementary schools.
Multiple victims were reported at the school, although few details were released.
The shooter remains at large.