Trump Signs ‘Strong’ Executive Order To Protect Monuments

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The base of the statue of former president Andrew Jackson is power washed inside a newly closed Lafayette Park, Wednesday, June 24, 2020, in Washington, which has been the site of protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday to protect monuments, memorials and statues facing new scrutiny amid fresh debate over the nation’s racist beginnings.

Trump had promised to take action earlier this week after police thwarted an attempt by protesters to pull down a statue of Andrew Jackson in a park across from the White House.

The order calls on the attorney general to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law any person or group that destroys or vandalizes a monument, memorial or statue. Federal law authorizes a penalty of up to 10 years in prison for the “willful injury” of federal property.

The order also calls for maximum prosecution for anyone who incites violence and illegal activity, and it threatens state and local law enforcement agencies that fail to protect monuments with the loss of federal funding.

Trump announced earlier Friday on Twitter that he had signed the order and called it “strong.”

Earlier in the day, the president used Twitter to call for the arrest of protesters involved with the attempt to bring down the Jackson statue from Lafayette Park.

He retweeted an FBI wanted poster showing pictures of 15 protesters who are wanted for “vandalization of federal property.”

Trump wrote, “MANY people in custody, with many others being sought for Vandalization of Federal Property in Lafayette Park. 10 year prison sentences!”

He also said on Twitter that he had scrapped plans to spend the weekend at his central New Jersey home to stay in Washington “to make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced.”

“These arsonists, anarchists, looters, and agitators have been largely stopped,” Trump tweeted. “I am doing what is necessary to keep our communities safe — and these people will be brought to Justice!”

Protesters on Monday night attempted to drag the Jackson statue down with ropes and chains. Police repelled the protesters and sealed off Lafayette Park, which had been reopened to the public for more than a week after protests against the death of George Floyd at police hands in Minnesota. On Tuesday, police cleared out the entire area around the corner of 16th and H streets — and pushed demonstrators away from the intersection, which had recently been renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza by the city.

Statistics released by the Metropolitan Police Department show that nine people were arrested Tuesday night and a total of 12 arrested between Monday and Wednesday. There were no protest-related arrests Thursday, according to the MPD data.

Demonstrators have grown increasingly emboldened about targeting statues deemed offensive or inappropriate. On June 19, or Juneteenth, the day marking the end of slavery in the United States, cheering crowds puled down a statue of Confederate Gen. Albert Pike. The statue stood on federal land and had withstood previous attempts by the Washington, D.C., government to remove it. According to participants, police officers were on the scene but did not attempt to interfere.

The targeting of the statues has become a rallying cry for Trump and other conservatives. Immediately after the Pike statute was toppled and set ablaze, Trump called the incident a “disgrace to our Country!” on Twitter.

On Tuesday he tweeted, “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.”

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22 COMMENTS

      • I agree the executive order should Have been to ban protests without proper permits . Protect people from ruthless thugs taking over streets and burning it down . Included in that is satuates but it also includes people’s livelihood and people lives

      • By the radical left wingers defunding and completely dismantling police departments, there is no one left to defend humans. The politicians all have private security so they’re good. We need to save our tax dollars to bail out the airlines and JC Penny/Macy’s etc…

  1. How much prison time will trump get for tearing down Democracy in America? Now he wants to kill ObamaCare in the middle of the deadly epidemic and have another 25 million people, many now unemployed, to lose their healthcare! Only an evil rasha would think to do that.

  2. Thanks John McCain , you vindictive small man for preserving Obamacare . The lie that one can get his own doctor.
    Keep fighting Mr. President , for our freedoms.
    Freedom that the evil Satanic Devils are coming to take away from us.
    This Marxist mob is on the march.
    The Sodomite Devils must be defeated and destroyed.
    The lying tinuf CNN and its lookalikes must likewise be forever destroyed.

  3. Statues is nothing yet.
    Elect demented Biden and the Dem Dogs will come aftet religious symbols, crosses and Star of David.
    Already they’re disgracing the US flag and our history.
    This evil movement will stop at nothing.

  4. Monuments destroyed, books and opinions banned by Amazon and high tech, speech by corporation employees monitored, and people being fired.
    Next come rabbis and pastors who speak out , and it’s out of control.
    On Nov. 4 the future of our country is in our hands.
    We have 4 months. You know what you have to do.
    1984 is here !!!

  5. Rudick
    I see you have an obsession against Trump as you continuous comments on various sites against him. Your a Jew hater who is thinking you will influence religious Jews on this site. The vast majority of religious Jews hate the democRATs with a passion. They have no values that are in line with Torah. So take your comments elsewhere.

  6. There should not be any statues commemorating Confederate war heroes. They rebelled against the US and caused hundreds of thousands of American soldiers to die. They were also losers which Trump generally does not admire. Should we put up statues to Nazi generals? We should not erase history after all.

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