The FBI has kicked off over 300 investigations into domestic terrorism since the nationwide riots began in May.
Erin Nealy Cox, a US attorney noted the scale of the FBI’s response to professional agitators like Antifa in a hearing on the subject on Capitol Hill. Attorney General Bill Bar has suggested that Cox will lead a task force on the extremists.
Cox told the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on the violent protests that the FBI has opened over 300 domestic terrorist investigations, saying, “That does not include any potential civil rights investigations or violent crime associated with the riots.”
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) August 4, 2020
‘Peaceful’ protesters have injured 140 federal officers in Portland
Time to save the violence until after he's out of power. Then run the voting roll from 2016/2020, identify all who registered as Republican for both elections, carve out a swath of land in Wyoming, remove those individuals from society permanently. They have declared war.
— Bryan Campbell (@NormFThomas) July 22, 2020
Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told the committee that around 140 federal law enforcement officers protecting the federal courthouse in Portland have suffered 277 injuries at the hands of the rioters.
The Tuesday hearing was titled “The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence.”
The subcommittee is chaired by Senator Ted Cruz, who focused on how professional rioters and agitators have “hijacked” peaceful protests to the grave detriment of cities like Portland and Seattle.
Cruz said, “Their actions are profoundly racist. The rioters …. destroy minority communities, minority businesses, and minority lives across this country. This shouldn’t be complicated: peaceful protests must be protected. Riots must be stopped.”
Democrats show disturbing disdain for law and order
The Democrats focused their questioning on the tactics used by federal law enforcement in handling the riots.
Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii said the hearing should have been called “The right of the people peaceably to assemble without being beaten up by unidentifiable federal agents. That would address an actual problem lawful protesters are facing and the rest of us are seeing in this country.” she said.
Democratic Senator for Oregon, Jeff Merkley described the protests in Portland as peaceful people “holding flowers, dancing, chanting” only for federal law enforcement to respond with “military-grade tear gas.”
Speaking on behalf of the DHS, Cuccinelli underscored the difference between protesters and violent rioters. Cuccinelli was asked by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, “If we had done nothing, what would have happened to the courthouse, Mr. Cuccinelli, in Portland?”
Cuccinelli replied simply, “That courthouse wouldn’t be there.”
Graham then noted, “So I challenge anyone on the other side to say differently. If we hadn’t intervened they’d have burned the god–n thing down.”