Today, I led my fellow Republicans in a hearing at the House Natural Resources Committee to set the record straight about Democrats’ baseless claims that a “peaceful protest” was unjustly cleared from the area near the White House several weeks ago.
As you know, in the wake of George Floyd’s horrifying and tragic death, our nation’s capital was rocked by a wave of unruly protests that escalated into violent and destructive riots. Tragically, this wave continues even today in other major cities across America. In D.C., the most contentious point of the chaos was across from the White House in Lafayette Square.
Over the weekend of May 29 - May 31, Lafayette Square looked like a warzone. Acting U.S. Park Police Chief Gregory Monahan today told the House Natural Resources Committee that it was “one of the most violent protests that I’ve been a part of in my 23 years with the United States Park Police.” By Monday, the park was devastated, the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church – often referred to as the “Church of the Presidents” – had been set ablaze, and 51 police officers were injured.
U.S. Park Police and U.S. Secret Service resolved to put an end to the anarchy by clearing the Square and erecting fence barriers. By the evening of June 1, officials had amassed sufficient law enforcement personnel and enough fencing materials to execute their plan. At 6:23 p.m., the order was given and the protestors – after being warned multiple times – were cleared out of Lafayette Square. As the fencing began to be erected, President Trump demonstrated genuine leadership and courage by walking across the Square to visit St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Instead of condemning the violence and destruction, Democrats and the mainstream media seized on this moment to accuse President Trump of clearing the Square for a photo opportunity. Even nearly two months later, Democrats are still attempting to push this bogus narrative. Today’s hearing completely ignores all those bad actors responsible for hijacking a peaceful protest, and it unjustly vilifies the officers who upheld law and order in our nation’s capital.
To watch my opening statement, click here, and to hear my questions for Acting chief of the U.S. Park Police, Gregory Monahan, click here.