House Republicans Demand Barr Start Making Arrests Of Protesters Destroying Statues
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Most Americans would agree that it is time for the federal government to step in and ensure that protesters are not allowed to destroy property, including government property, by tearing down statues, setting police cars on fire, buildings on fire, and attacking other people.
With this in mind, several Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus are calling on Attorney General William Barr to start arresting those who break the law, The Washington Examiner reported.
“We can acknowledge the necessity of federal intervention when states and local jurisdictions allow the rights of their citizens to violate public property to be attacked, vandalized, and destroyed,” said Andy Biggs, the House Freedom Caucus Chairman.
Federal officials should "immediately begin making arrests of those who are attempting to violate rights and disturb our peace and vandalize our federal property and attacking our private property,” he said.
"You don't have liberty if you don't have order," Republican Rep. Chip Roy, of Texas, said. "It's time for the federal government to do its job and enforce the laws of the United States. We have federal laws on the books that prohibit the kind of vandalism that is attacking our memorials."
President Donald Trump has also weighed in on this issue.
Last week, he signed an executive order to authorize federal authorities to arrest anyone who destroys or vandalizes a monument or statue on federal property.
"I think many of the people that are knocking down these statues don't even have any idea what the statue is, what it means, who it is," he said, The Examiner reported.
"Now, they're looking at Jesus Christ. They're looking at George Washington. They're looking at Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson. Not gonna happen. Not gonna happen. Not as long as I'm here,” he said.
"I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent," he said.
"This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!" he said.
The president also deployed the National Guard to the Emancipation Statue in Washington, D.C. after protesters demanded it be taken down, The Daily Mail reported.
During an interview last Thursday on Fox News, Trump told host Sean Hannity that he understood the complaints from those who want the statue removed.
He said he could see what they were saying about the imagery but stood firm that he “can also see beauty” in the statue.
“You know, we can take things down, too,” he said. “I can understand certain things being taken down. But they ought to go through a process, legally.
“And then we take it down, in some cases put 'em in museums or wherever they may go,” the president said of the statue and other statues.