Attorney General Barr: extremists and foreign groups exacerbate the situation in the United States during the protests

By | June 5, 2020
Attorney General Barr: extremists and foreign groups exacerbate the situation in the United States during the protests

The head of the Justice Ministry said that foreigners are conducting disinformation campaigns on social networks, trying to sow discord among Americans

Attorney General William Barr said on Thursday that “extremist agitators” associated with the radical left movement “Antifa”, and groups operating in the interests of foreign states, tried to use national protests to aggravate the situation in the United States.

Barr’s statements were made three days after the Ministry of Homeland Security assessed the situation, finding that most of the violence during the protests seem to have been committed not by organized extremists, but by adventurers – people who took advantage of the riots to commit crimes.

While Barr and President Donald Trump blame most of the Antifa left extremists, federal prosecutors in Las Vegas on Wednesday accused three members of the Bugalu right-wing extremist group of planning to cause violence and destruction during the protests.

“We saw evidence that Antifa and other similar extremist groups, as well as members of various political movements, were involved in inciting and participating in violent activities,” Barr said at a news conference.

According to Barr, foreign groups are now conducting disinformation campaigns on social networks, similar to campaigns conducted by Russian authorities during the 2016 US presidential election. The goal of foreigners, according to Barr, is to sow discord in American society.

“Some of the foreign hackers and groups associated with foreign governments are focusing on this particular situation that we are developing here and are trying to aggravate it in every possible way,” said the prosecutor general.

Barr also advocated forcibly ousting peaceful demonstrators from the square in front of the White House on Monday evening. The Attorney General explained that this decision was dictated by the fact that the riots got out of control at the weekend.

“We decided that we need to increase the barriers to protect the White House,” Barr said.

In a letter to Trump, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi called the presence of unmarked soldiers on the streets of Washington “alarming.”

Pelosi told reporters that her daughter Alexandra was present when federal agents acting on Barr’s orders cleared the protesters at Lafayette Park near the White House.

“She thought she had tear gas in her eyes,” said the speaker.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other human rights organizations filed a lawsuit on Thursday on behalf of the protesters, seeking a court ruling that Trump, Barr, and other administration officials violated the Constitution.

“When a senior law enforcement officer becomes an accomplice to tyrannical tactics, he violates the right to freedom of speech for each of us,” said Scott Michelman, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in the District of Columbia.

According to Barr, federal agents carried out 51 arrests on charges of violence. 114 law enforcement officers were injured in the riots in Washington, and 22 were hospitalized.

According to Regina Lombardo, acting The director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the authorities are investigating the causes of seven fires during the protests in Washington.

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