The United States Marshals Service has reportedly been asked to prepare to protect monuments across the country as President TrumpDonald John Trump: Trump rally triggers quarantine of dozens of Republican Secret Service agents: Trump needs new plan Trump faces ObamaCare court deadline as political terrain changes MORE He vows to crack down on protesters who attack controversial statues.
Assistant Director of the Marshals Service, Andrew C. Smith, said “the agency was asked to immediately prepare to provide support from the federal police to protect national monuments (across the country),” according to a directive. email obtained by The Washington Post.
The subject line of the email called the request “Assignment of the Attorney General,” suggesting that it originated with the Attorney General. William BarrBill Barr Justice Department officials say the decisions are politicized. The Democratic judiciary calls on the House to prosecute Barr Barr’s impeachment to testify at the House’s oversight hearing next month. PLUS. Smith said in the email that the task would be “challenging” considering the “breadth of possible targets for criminal activity.”
The United States Marshals Incident Management Team will start a joint operations center in Virginia to coordinate the assignment, Smith said, according to the Post. The newspaper noted that the directive says that all deputies from the Special Operations Group will be available for assignment as soon as Thursday.
Smith reportedly asked some districts and divisions to identify staff who could help with the initiative over the next two weeks. It is unclear what kind of work the agency has been asked to do.
“The US Marshals Service does not confirm or deny any possible enforcement activity,” a Marshals Service spokesperson told The Hill in a statement.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill.
Statues of Confederate leaders and other figures seen as symbols of racism have been toppled in cities across the country amid protests against racial injustice and police brutality sparked by the George Floyd police murder in Minneapolis.
Protesters in Washington, DC, on Monday attempted to tear down a statue of Andrew Jackson in a park outside the White House. Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, signed the Indian Expulsion Act while in office, a law that led directly to the Trail of Tears.
But the park police in the United States dispersed the crowd before protesters could remove the monument from its pedestal.
The incident sparked outrage from Trump, who has promised punishment for anyone who destroys or desecrates an American monument. He said Tuesday that he was preparing an executive order to enforce existing laws that punish people who attack monuments. He has also called for “long-term prison sentences” for people who tried to tear down the Jackson statue.
Trump said in a tweet Wednesday night that it was “very sad” to see states that allowed protesters to “indiscriminately” tear down our statues and monuments to the past. “
“Some are great works of art, but they all represent our History and Heritage, both good and bad,” he added. “It is important for us to understand and remember, even in turbulent and difficult times, and to learn from them. Knowledge comes from the most unusual places!”
– This report was updated at 11:31 am