Lynch: Authorities to release limited transcripts of calls with Orlando shooter
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Sunday that law enforcement will release limited transcripts Monday from the three phone calls that Orlando shooter Omar Mateen had with police.
“They will talk about what he told law enforcement on the ground as the events were unfolding,” Lynch told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
The Justice Department says on Monday the FBI and Orlando authorities, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s office, are expected to release a limited transcript of conversations Mateen had with authorities during the shooting as well as a timeline.
“He talked about his pledges of allegiance to a terrorist group. He talked about his motivations for why he was claiming at that time he was committing this horrific act. He talked about American policy in some ways,” Lynch said. In one of the call he pledged allegiance to ISIS, authorities have said.
“The reason why we’re going to limit these transcripts is to avoid re-victimizing those people that went through this horror. But it will contain the substance of his conversations,” she said.
FBI Director James Comey said Monday there were three calls with Mateen.
“During calls he said he was doing this for leader of (ISIS) who he named and pledged loyalty to,” Comey had said. “But he also claimed to pledge solidarity with the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing and solidarity with a Florida man who died as a suicide bomber in Syria for al-Nusra Front, a group in conflict with the so-called Islamic State. The bombers at the Boston Marathon and the suicide bomber from Florida were not inspired by (ISIS) which adds a little bit to the confusion about his motives.”
Lynch also argued that political correctness is not getting in the way of terror investigations and that maintaining contacts within the Muslim community is very important because “if they’re from that community and they’re being radicalized, their friends and family members will see it first.”
“We investigate these cases aggressively, no stone is left unturned,” she told Bash. “There is no backing away from an issue, there is no backing away from an interview because of anyone’s background. Because for us, the source of information is very, very important.”
Lynch is expected to travel to Orlando on Tuesday where she will meet with victims and their families, first responders, federal prosecutors and other community members. She will also receive a briefing from law enforcement regarding the investigation of the shooting.
By Tom LoBianco