IG Report Exonerates Trump

  • IG Report Exonerates Trump

IG Report Exonerates Trump

The USPP's decision was made "to allow a contractor to safely install antiscale fencing in response to [the] destruction of Federal property and injury to officers", the IG report details.

Rabbi Jack Moline, president of the Interfaith Alliance, said: "Seeing President Trump standing in front of St John's Episcopal Church while holding a Bible in response to calls for racial justice - right after using military force to clear peaceful protesters - is one of the most flagrant misuses of religion that I have ever seen".

In fact, as then-Attorney General William Barr explained to CBS News' 60 Minutes previous year, the rioters had injured dozens of officers in the two days leading up to the operation, and the U.S. Park Police had independently chose to expand fences establishing a White House perimeter by one city block, using pepper balls to clear those who resisted.

"The evidence we obtained did not support a finding that the USPP cleared the park to allow the president to survey the damage and walk to St. John's Church", the report said.

A woman holds onto a fence surrounding Lafayette Park as part of the expanded protective perimeter around the White House on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Trump walked through the park after the plans to clear protesters were already in motion.

The Park Police official said he hadn't known until then that Trump would be entering the park that evening.

Barr reportedly asked the operations commander, "Are these people still going to be here when POTUS comes out?'"

The operations commander denied that Barr told him to clear the park or change the operation's plans in any capacity.

The contractors began erecting the anti-scale fence by 7:30 and completed the project just after midnight.

However, the report by Interior Department Inspector General Mark Greenblatt on Wednesday indicated that Park Police had already planned to clear the area and was already in the process of implementing that plan before they knew that Trump would be making an appearance. The report also found that the Bureau of Prison's decision to fire pepper balls into the crowd was "inconsistent" with the guidance issued by the USPP.

"Finally, we found that the USPP and the Secret Service did not use a shared radio channel to communicate, that the USPP primarily conveyed information orally to assisting law enforcement entities, that an assisting law enforcement entity arrived late and may not have received a full briefing on the rules of engagement, and that several law enforcement officers could not clearly hear the incident commander's dispersal warnings", the report continues.

The inspector general additionally laid out recommendations should similar situations arise in the future.