Sen. Marco Rubio is calling for a congressional investigation of the FBI’s failure to follow up on a credible tip about 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, the gunman who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The Republican lawmaker from Florida said this failure was “inexcusable,” calling on Congress to review the bureau’s protocol on processing tips.
“It is inexcusable that the FBI failed to follow protocols and inform the Miami Field Office that people close to the Parkland, FL shooter warned the Bureau over a month ago of his desire to kill, his mental state, and erratic behavior,” Rubio said in a statement.
The FBI released a statement acknowledging that protocols were not followed when the potentially life-threatening tip was received — which would prove to be true.
“On January 5, 2018, a person close to Nikolas Cruz contacted the FBI’s Public Access Line (PAL) tipline to report concerns about him,” the bureau said in a statement. “The caller provided information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to conduct an “immediate review” of the handling of the tip, but Rubio said this is “not enough.”
“The fact that the FBI is investigating this failure is not enough. Both the House and Senate need to immediately initiate their own investigations into the FBI’s protocols for ensuring tips from the public about potential killers are followed through,” Rubio said. “Lawmakers and law enforcement personnel constantly remind the public that ‘if you see something, say something.’ In this tragic case, people close to the shooter said something, and our system utterly failed the families of seventeen innocent souls.”
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) February 16, 2018
Florida Gov. Rick Scott went even further, calling on FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign.
“The FBI’s failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable,” the Republican governor said in a statement. “The FBI has admitted that they were contacted last month by a person who called to inform them of Cruz’s ‘desire to kill people,’ and ‘the potential of him conducting a school shooting.'”
“We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI,” Scott added. “And the FBI failed to act. ‘See something, say something’ is an incredibly important tool and people must have confidence in the follow through from law enforcement. The FBI Director needs to resign.”
That sentiment was echoed by Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes.
@FLGovScott is right, the FBI Director should resign immediately. 17 innocent lives were lost because the agency failed to follow protocol – that’s unacceptable,” tweeted Corcoran.
— Richard Corcoran (@richardcorcoran) February 16, 2018
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