WASHINGTON — Rep. Scott DesJarlais’ office confirmed Monday the Tennessee Republican’s name was on a list that authorities found with the gunman who shot five people last week at a Republican congressional baseball practice.
Capitol police notified the congressman’s office 24 to 48 hours after the shooting that the South Pittsburg Republican’s name was on the shooter’s handwritten list, said DesJarlais’ spokesman, Brendan Thomas.
The names of five other congressmen — all members of the House Freedom Caucus — also were on the list, according to news reports. Some reports have characterized the list as an “assassination list.”
In response, “we’re reviewing security protocols with our district staff, our Washington office staff, House leadership and Capitol police,” Thomas said. “There already are a number of security measures in place to protect personnel in the Capitol and House office buildings. We follow security protocol here.”
Thomas declined to say what kind of extra security measures are being taken at the congressman’s public events. But, “everybody’s awareness is heightened right now,” he said.
The gunman, James Hodgkinson, 66, opened fire last Wednesday morning as Congress members and staffers practiced for a charity baseball game in Alexandria, Va., seriously wounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and four others.
Hodgkinson died in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement during the shootout in Alexandria, Va.
Hodgkinson, a Belleville, Ill., resident, had been living out of his van in Alexandria. His social media activity showed a disdain for GOP officials.
DesJarlais was not at the baseball practice when the shooting occurred.
“A lot of information is still coming in,” Thomas said when asked if Capitol police characterized Hodgkinson’s list as an “assassination list.”
DesJarlais and other members of Congress are aware of the risks that come with the job, Thomas said.
“He’s a public figure,” he said. “He’s an elected representative at time when there’s a lot of media attention on Congress. He’s used to speaking in public and being on TV.
“With that profession comes the attention of people who may wish to do Scott or anyone else here harm. That’s a reality that people on Capitol Hill live with on a daily basis. Something surprising may always be around the corner, and that’s a reality people live with all of the time.”