Attorney General Bill Barr personally ordered federal police to clear Lafayette Park from protesters shortly before President Donald Trump organized a photo shoot in St. John’s Church.
The warrant sparked a brutal use of force, with federal law enforcement using tear gas, rubber bullets, and mounted officers to push protesters out of the square across the White House.
The move sparked protest from Trump critics – but not his traditional allies – after Trump organized a photo staging for St. John’s Church a few minutes after using violence.
Attorney General Bill Barr (l) ordered federal police to evacuate Lafayette Park minutes before President Trump held a photo shoot in St. John’s Church
Officials have made the decision to expand the perimeter around the White House on Sunday evening Washington Post reported amid clashes between police and violent protesters.
Then, not long before President Trump made comments for the nation from the White House Rose on Monday, Barr showed up to investigate the scene. When he noticed that the order had not yet been executed, he gave the green light. He was seen on video on the site at 3.10 p.m.
He consulted with them to check the status and basically said, “This has to be done. Get it done, “an official told the newspaper.
The armed forces that carried out the action were the U.S. Military Police and the U.S. Park Police. Neither report to the Attorney General, nor to the Arlington County Police Department who was immediately withdrawn after local officials objected to the way they were used.
The decision sparked Trump’s strange spectacle that promised to use the military to crush looters, while the sound of flashing devices and tear gas fires could be heard in the rose garden.
Par toured the area on Monday afternoon, not long before Trump would speak at the White House
But the police took action against people who acted peacefully and who did not contradict a 7:00 pm curfew – although it was near the site of a wave of vandalism, including in the parish house next to the church Trump wanted to see.
Barr is a loyalist to Trump whose controversial movements on behalf of the President include his four-page summary of the Mueller report, his elaborate view of executive power, and his refusal to hand over documents sought by domestic Democrats in their impeachment investigation.
The report on Barr’s role comes as Democratic Representative Gerry Connolly from Virginia demanded Secret Service documents. He cited the reports involving the agency as to whether the operation “may have been conducted”.
Connolly wants all documents about the President’s short trip and anyone who has objected to “attacking peaceful protesters.”
Inside the White House, it has been determined that the Hope Hicks employee, who has long been Donald Trump, contributed to the plan to have the President walk across the White House to pose in front of St. John’s Church.
The move was intended as a way to enable Trump to demonstrate his self-proclaimed role as a law and order president and came after the president had vowed to use the military to restore order in cities across the country.
As a PR movement, it may have backfire after global and national media broadcast images of shield and mounted police by force to purge Lafayette Park, an area whose use as a forum for demonstrations and speech has long been protected.
President Counselor Hope Hicks joined President Trump when he walked to St. John’s Episcopal Church, opposite the White House. She is credited with helping the idea for him to pose for photos there
Hicks accompanied Trump as he walked through Lafayette Park to pose in church. Media accompanying them reported the taste of tear gas still in the air.
Mariann Budde, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, who oversees the Church, said she was “outraged” by the action. “The President cleaned the park and courtyard of our Church … stood before St. Johns as if it were spiritual confirmation and justification for a message that contradicted the teachings of Jesus and God of justice,” she said.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who ordered a curfew at 7 p.m. on Monday, said she was “ shocked ” that people who did not seem to provoke an attack were “ attacked ” by federal law enforcement who paved the way for Trump.
The walk outside the gates of the White House – the first as president of the highly guarded Trump – came after he was locked up at home for more than a day.
Trump was upset at the revelation that the Secret Service had taken him to a bunker deep under the White House when police clashed with protesters on Friday night, the Washington Post reported and wondered why anyone would disclose it to the press.
Although he was not there long, it clashed with the image of the power that Trump usually likes to bring forward.
Although Trump traveled to Florida to watch a missile launch on Saturday and denounced the death of George Floyd during his arrest by the Minneapolis police, he had not been seen since another wave of protest and violence broke out that night.
President Trump walked from the White House to St. John’s Church to raise a Bible for a photo
President Trump left the White House, surrounded by cabinet officials, assistants and security
President Trump walks in front of a graffiti-filled wall on his way to St. John’s Episcopal Church
President Donald Trump holds a Bible while speaking to the media while standing in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church
President Counselor Hope Hicks has been identified as someone who is helping to bring Donald Trump through Lafayette Park to pose in front of St. John’s Church.
Trump was joined by Attorney General William Barr (L), White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (2nd-L) and White House Press Chief Kayleigh McEnany
Ivanka Trump (C) returns to the White House after U.S. President Donald Trump posed for photos in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church on June 1, 2020 in Washington, DC
Police fired tear gas at protesters in front of St. John’s Church to free them for the president’s photo
U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr consults with the U.S. secret service and other officials in downtown Lafayette Park shortly before riot police cleared the park and the area opposite the White House so President Donald Trump could walk to a front photo opportunity of St. John’s Episcopal Church, during a demonstration against death in Minneapolis, George Floyd police custody, in Washington, USA June 1, 2020
President Donald J. Trump returns after posing with a Bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church after making comments at the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington
Police line up in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church as protesters protest George Floyd’s death on Sunday, May 31, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being detained by Minneapolis police officers (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)
Pressured to deliver an address to the White House, Trump instead decided to walk past a graffiti-prayed maintenance shack and tour the historic church, which had been damaged by fire amid vandalism and looting on Sunday night. The D.C. fire department was able to extinguish a fire that broke out in the basement of the parish house next to the church.
Long-term GOP employee Brendan Buck, a former spokesman for speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan when he was a vice presidential candidate, overturned the decision.
“We lost sight of the normal a long time ago, but this was a very immoral act,” he said.
The president used violence against American citizens, not to protect property, but to mitigate his own insecurities. We all move on to the next outrage, but this was a real abuse of power and should not be forgotten, “he said in the Washington Post. He previously tweeted what happened “immoral and insulting.”
Hicks was Trump’s longtime press officer, following him from the Trump organization to the White House. She served as White House communications director before leaving to take up a position at Fox Corporation and then returned as an advisor to the president this year.
Rival former Vice President Joe Biden destroyed Trump’s trip to church on Tuesday “to host a photo performance,” saying, “We can be forgiven for believing that the President is more interested in power than in principle. ‘
“The President held up the Bible in St. John’s Church yesterday. I wish he opened it now and then instead of swinging it, ”Biden continued. “He polishes and wipes away any guardrails that protect our democracy,” Biden said.
Shortly before leaving the White House grounds on Monday to visit the church at 7:03 p.m., Trump said from the Rose Garden that he was “ taking swift and decisive action to protect our major capital, Washington, D.C. ”
“What happened in this city last night was a total disgrace. As we speak, I send thousands upon thousands of heavily armed soldiers, servicemen, and law enforcement officers to stop the riots, looting, vandalism, attacks, and willful destruction of property, ”Trump said.