A year ago last week, the mainstream media went absolutely nuts after so-called “peaceful protesters” were forcefully “cleared” from Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C.
The way reporters framed the story at the time, Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr used federal resources to order the clearing and had demonstrators “tear-gassed” to get them out of the way so Trump could be seen in photos walking from the White House to the charred scene of historic St. John’s Church after BLM-led rioters set it on fire the night before.
Congressional hearings have been held on the matter and numerous lawsuits have been filed. But an IG report just released today found that the park was not in fact cleared for any supposed photo-op, vindicating Trump and Barr:
The evidence we obtained did not support a finding that the USPP [U.S. Park Police] cleared the park to allow the President to survey the damage and walk to St. John’s Church. Instead, the evidence we reviewed showed that the USPP cleared the park to allow the contractor to safely install the antiscale fencing in response to destruction of property and injury to officers occurring on May 30 and 31. Further, the evidence showed that the USPP did not know about the President’s potential movement until mid- to late afternoon on June 1—hours after it had begun developing its operational plan and the fencing contractor had arrived in the park.
The report dovetails with what the acting Park Police chief told the House Committee on Natural Resources during a July 2020 hearing. You can read the full report here.
Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who sent CNN’s Jim Acosta to the burn ward last year during a heated exchange on this very topic, was quick to highlight the news:
Here we go again!
Episode 100 in "the press was wrong, Trump was right!"
I said this from the podium endlessly. But only now do they finally report the truth: "Police did not clear Lafayette Park area so Trump could hold 'Bible' photo op: Watchdog"https://t.co/ggpy6rYVtw
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) June 9, 2021
And speaking of Jim Acosta:
Will Twitter flag this @Acosta tweet for spreading false information? https://t.co/1vOIa18AHo pic.twitter.com/wIzRYokpIq
— Chad Gilmartin (@ChadGilmartinCA) June 9, 2021
Also, as of this writing, some accusatory articles against Trump and Barr are still up, as George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley pointed out in a piece he did on the IG’s report, and below:
In a still uncorrected piece still up on the Internet, NPR declares “Peaceful Protesters Tear-Gassed To Clear Way For Trump Church Photo-Op.” The Washington Post ran an article by Philip Bump titled “Attorney General Bill Barr’s Dishonest Defense of Clearing of Lafayette Square.”
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) June 9, 2021
Will they be deleted or will they be stealth-edited as others have in the aftermath of Trump and other prominent Republicans being proven right on other media-driven controversies? We’ll be on the lookout and let you know.
We also hope to have an answer soon to this question:
Are you okay, @Acosta?
— Sister Toldjah 😁 (@sistertoldjah) June 9, 2021
Heh. Stay tuned.
Update: Trump’s statement on the findings is below:
“Thank you to the Department of the Interior Inspector General for Completely and Totally exonerating me in the clearing of Lafayette Park!” he said.
“As we have said all along, and it was backed up in today’s highly detailed and professionally written report, our fine Park Police made the decision to clear the park to allow a contractor to safely install antiscale fencing to protect from Antifa rioters, radical BLM protestors, and other violent demonstrators who are causing chaos and death to our cities. In this instance, they tried burning down the church the day before the clearing. Fortunately, we were there to stop the fire from spreading beyond the basement – and it was our great honor and privilege to do so. Again, thank you to the Inspector General!” Trump’s statement said.
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