Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier seems to think that gun-control laws don’t apply to the liberal elite. The police chief helped Sen. Dianne Feinstein acquire “assault weapons,” which are illegal to possess in the District, for a news conference early this year to promote a ban on these firearms, then tried to cover up the police involvement.
Now, a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals Chief Lanier’s shocking willingness to bend the rules for partisan and ideological purposes.
Feinstein wants guns
Lobbyist Chuck DeWitt emailed Chief Lanier on Christmas Eve last year. “Sen. Feinstein has asked us to bring examples of assault weapons used in the worst incidents over the past few years.” The CEO of the Lafayette Group told the chief that the guns would be put on display at a media event and asked, “Could you put me in touch with your person who would have any of these weapons?”
Chief Lanier’s response was not turned over.
However, a week after Mr. DeWitt’s request, Mrs. Feinstein’s press secretary, Tom Mentzer, asked the commander of the police department’s Crime Scene Investigation Division, Keith Williams, for 10 specific firearm models used in high-profile mass shootings, including a Bushmaster XM-15, Tec-9 handgun, Smith & Wesson M&P15 and a Glock 19 with a “high-capacity magazine.”
Since Cmdr. Williams did not have all the firearms the senator sought, Mr. DeWitt asked Philadelphia police to provide the missing ones, which meant bringing “the P15 and the Glock extended magazine” to Washington.
All of these firearms are illegal in the city — even on federal property — owing to the District’s law banning rifles with a detachable magazine and such features as a pistol grip or folding stock and all firearms with a magazines capacity of more than 10 rounds.
Cmdr. Williams emailed Mr. Mentzer to put a “bug” in his ear that the police would “prefer that no mention of the fact that the weapons came from D.C. or were recovered by MPDC in the official language or speeches.” Mr. Mentzer replied, “By not mentioning where the weapons came from, we open ourselves up to the same charge against David Gregory.”
He was referring to the anchor of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” who knowingly procured an illegal 30-round magazine in the District as a stunt for his TV show, but was not charged.
The office of Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance W. Gainer coordinated bringing the illegal weapons onto Capitol Hill for Mrs. Feinstein’s dramatic Jan. 24 news conference introducing her new “assault weapons” ban.
Kathryn Stillman, the campus-access coordinator for Mr. Gainer, emailed Cmdr. Williams and Mrs. Feinstein’s staff to recommend the firearms be mounted on a board with zip ties so that Mrs. Feinstein could “point or even touch, but no need for any particular handling.” This was to ensure that it could be argued later that the senator never had “possession” of the illegal guns.