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Homeland Security Chair Thompson demands briefing on clearing protestors from Lafayette Park

By Gabriella Muñoz

The Washington Times

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson wrote to Secret Service Director James Murray Tuesday, requesting a briefing on how authorities responded to protestors outside the White House ahead of President Trump’s photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Mr. Thompson, Mississippi Democrat, wrote that he understood the difficult decisions made by secret service agents “in responding to acts of violence,” but was “stunned, disturbed and furious” at Monday evening’s events.

“It is shameful that the President used the power of the federal government to attack Americans exercising their Constitutional right to protest just so he could stage a photo opportunity,” he wrote.

Mr. Thompson wants to have the briefing by Friday.

Demonstrators were removed from Lafayette Park using tear gas and flash bangs about a half-hour before a city-wide curfew went into effect.

Mr. Trump walked to St. John’s across from the White House, which was damaged by fires earlier this week, after vowing to crack down on the nationwide protests and unrest that sparked after George Floyd, a black man, was killed in Minnesota.

Mr. Trump has faced an outpouring of criticism for the photo-op, where he held up a bible in front of the church, from Democrats and the faith leaders connected to St. John’s.

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

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