On Monday night, former President Donald Trump received a legal exoneration in connection to a group of lawsuits filed against him by Lafayette Park BLM protestors. The judge dismissed the cases.
Per a Politico report, a federal judge dismissed the bulk of a group of lawsuits against the federal government. This follows the government’s alleged use of force to push Black Lives Matter protesters away from Lafayette park last year. However, the judge will let the said protesters continue to seek damages from D.C. and Arlington County, Va. in connection to the actions of the police forces there.
U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich was the one who rejected the claims for damages of the said protestors. The claims were filed against the former administration’s officials. These include Trump, Attorney General William Barr, as well as Defense Secretary Mark Esper. A number of current federal officials as well.
According to the Washington Post, the plaintiffs claimed that the government used unnecessary force so that Trump can hold a photo op with a Bible outside of St. John’s Church. However, the report also noted that Judge Friedrich described the allegations as too speculative.
Although, a report by an Inspector General regarding the incident revealed that the area was not cleared so that Trump can have a “photo op.”
Inspector General Findings Disprove BLM Lawsuits Against Trump
The document, as reported by NBC, revealed that federal police “violently cleared protesters” at Lafayette Park last June 20 so that a contractor can install fencing.
The said finding, which was published on Wednesday, will likely surprise many of the former president’s critics. Many of these critics asserted that Trump or his attorney general instructed the police to clear the area for “an act of political theater.”
However, while the report had zero evidence for this, it did find that Barr urged the officials to speed up on clearing the area once the former president had decided to walk through there on that evening.
In a statement, Trump expressed his thoughts about the findings by the Inspector General of the Interior Department.
First, he thanked the department “for Completely and Totally exonerating me” for the Lafayette Park incident.
He then reiterated how the findings backed him up regarding the matter. Trump then explained that the decision to clear the area was meant to allow a contractor to add antiscale fencing. It would serve as protection from violent rioters who cause “chaos and death” to cities across the country. In this instance, he said rioters tried to burn down the church a day before the incident.
Trump then noted how, fortunately, authorities were there to stop the fire from spreading. He then thanked the Inspector General once more.