Barr: DOJ has 500 investigations into rioters and destruction of statuesby Anthony Leonardi - June 25, 2020
Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department had "scores of indictments" filed against people who committed violence during a wave of protests across the country.
During Thursday's episode of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's podcast, Verdict, which is co-hosted by conservative commentator Michael Knowles, Barr said his agency was using 35 joint terrorist task forces across the country to investigate criminal activity, which has taken place since the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man.
"When the real violence started around May 25, 26, and so forth, we started using our joint terrorist task forces around the country. And there are 35 of them around the country," Barr said.
"And now they are starting to go full bore, cranking out investigations, indictments against the people who are involved in this violence. So we've had scores of indictments already for such things as arson, destruction of federal property, things like that. And we have, right now, about 500 investigations underway," he added.
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Barr told Cruz and Knowles that groups of "provocateurs and agitators" appeared to be well-coordinated and often call upon anarchist groups to carry out violent criminal activity.
"They want to tear down the country. They are different than many traditional groups, and frequently, the signs of coordination and activity are very close to the event itself," the attorney general said. "So like the morning of or the day before, and things are very fast-moving. But we definitely see signs out on the street of communication, of organization, of preplanning, prepositioning of things. So it's definitely organized activity.”
Barr, Cruz, and Knowles speculated that demonstrators had no understanding about the background of historical figures whose monuments they'd like to tear down. "Old guy with a beard, he's gotta be bad," Cruz said.
"They're going after Saint Junipero Serra!" Knowles quipped earlier. "And Cervantes!" Cruz added.
Barr said in late May that it appeared that "anarchic" and "far-left extremist groups" were responsible for the growing violence and riots that occurred simultaneously with protests following Floyd's death. Barr declared that the violence being “instigated and carried out” by "antifa and other similar groups" in connection to nationwide protesting is “domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”
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