Inspector General Debunks Claims From Biden, Harris, Mainstream Media: Trump Didn’t Tear Gas Protesters For Photo Op
Last year, the Inspector General of the United States Department of the Interior completely debunked claims made by then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, his eventual running mate Kamala Harris, and left-wing media about federal law enforcement’s response to a violent riot in Washington, D.C. by far-left activists.
The events in issue occurred in the nation’s capital in late May and early June of 2020, notably surrounding President Donald Trump’s visit to a church that had been set on fire by far-left rioters.
On June 1, NPR tweeted, “Police in Washington, D.C. used tear gas and rubber bullets on peaceful protesters to clear them away from St. John’s church near the White House, which suffered a small fire Sunday night.”
“President Trump then walked to the church for a photo op,” NPRs tweet continued.
“He’s using the American military against the American people. He’s using the American military against the American people. He tear-gassed peaceful protesters and fired rubber bullets. For a photo. For our children, for the very soul of our country, we must defeat him. But I mean it when I say this: we can only do it together,” Biden said in response to NPR’s tweet.
The inspector general of the Department of the Interior, on the other hand, published a report on Wednesday claiming that Trump’s visit to the church had nothing to do with why the rioters were moved out of the area:
“This report presents a thorough, independent examination of that evidence to assess the [U.S. Park Police]’s decision making and operations, including a detailed timeline of relevant actions and an analysis of whether the USPP’s actions complied with governing policies. The evidence we reviewed showed that the USPP cleared the park to allow a contractor to safely install antiscale fencing in response to destruction of Federal property and injury to officers that occurred on May 30 and May 31. Moreover, the evidence established that relevant USPP officials had made those decisions and had begun implementing the operational plan several hours before they knew of a potential Presidential visit to the park, which occurred later that day. As such, we determined that the evidence did not support a finding that the USPP cleared the park on June 1, 2020, so that then President Trump could enter the park.”
He's using the American military against the American people.
He tear-gassed peaceful protesters and fired rubber bullets.
For a photo.
For our children, for the very soul of our country, we must defeat him. But I mean it when I say this: we can only do it together. https://t.co/G1yE67q9Nz
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 2, 2020
“Donald Trump just tear-gassed peaceful protesters for a photo op,” Harris claimed.
Donald Trump just tear-gassed peaceful protesters for a photo op. https://t.co/nRzF0V4Kg5
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 1, 2020
A so-called “fact-checker” with CNN, Daniel Dale made the same claims.
“[Trump impeachment defense attorney Michael] Van der Veen falsely claims the clearing of Lafayette Square last June happened to ‘establish an appropriate security perimeter’ from a ‘riotous mob.’ No. They cleared peaceful protesters out of the way for a Trump photo-op. The ‘narrative’ van der Veen is mocking is correct.”Dale tweeted during Trump’s impeachment trial in February 2021.
Van der Veen falsely claims the clearing of Lafayette Square last June happened to "establish an appropriate security perimeter" from a "riotous mob." No. They cleared peaceful protesters out of the way for a Trump photo-op. The "narrative" van der Veen is mocking is correct.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 13, 2021
Political analyst Arthur Schwartz cited a New York Times piece by Katie Rogers in which the title said that demonstrators were dispersed with tear gas “so Trump could pose at Church.”
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) June 9, 2021
Trump made a response to the report:
“Thank you to the Department of the Interior Inspector General for Completely and Totally exonerating me in the clearing of Lafayette Park!”
“As we have said all along, and it was backed up in today’s highly detailed and professionally written report, our fine Park Police made the decision to clear the park to allow a contractor to safely install antiscale fencing to protect from Antifa rioters, radical BLM protestors, and other violent demonstrators who are causing chaos and death to our cities. In this instance, they tried burning down the church the day before the clearing. Fortunately, we were there to stop the fire from spreading beyond the basement—and it was our great honor and privilege to do so. Again, thank you to the Inspector General!”
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