Judging by the headlines screaming “baseless conspiracy theory” and “without evidence” it would appear the Trump administration is on the right track as they look to investigate who might be funding the rioters; and looking particularly at whether or not the unrest is organized to the extent the protesters are traveling to participate.
The Trump administration obviously believes there’s enough evidence to open an investigation as acting Department of Homeland Security head Chad Wolfe made clear this week.
“We know [protesters] are moving around,” Wolfe told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. “We have seen them in D.C., in Sacramento, and elsewhere. They are organized.… I know that the Department of Justice is also looking at that as well.” He also said that of the “175 arrests in Kenosha, almost 100 of them were from out of state.”
As such, if the administration — the Department of Justice specifically — is able to determine a head of the protest snake and proof of funding, they do have laws at their disposal that allows them to make arrests and bring potential charges.
Tucker Carlson: Why haven't we seen the leaders of antifa and BLM arrested and charged with conspiracy under RICO charges, like the mafia?
DHS chief Chad Wolf: "Well, this is something that I have talked to the AG personally about. I know they are working on it." pic.twitter.com/YWVA5WaEbm
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) September 1, 2020
“Well, this is something that I have talked to [Attorney General William Barr] personally about. I know that they are working on it,” said Wolf, adding that officials have made “about 300 arrests across this country regarding civil unrest,” including about 75 who have been charged in Portland alone. (Several of those arrests occurred when federal officers barreled protesters into unmarked vans.) “The Department of Justice is also targeting and investigating the head of these organizations, the individuals that are paying for these individuals to move across the country,” he said.
Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul also said as much when he was surrounded and literally mobbed while leaving the White House following the Republican National Convention.
[Paul] said he believed most of the people who surrounded him were not from Washington, D.C., but were from out of town and were “paid to be there.” He did not specify who he believed was paying protesters to come to D.C.
But all it took was for Trump to tell Laura Ingraham there were possibly people in “dark shadows” throwing money at the protesters and “thugs” on a plane for the media and progressives to begin the drumbeat denouncing the idea as a half-baked conspiracy theory.
That is unless they need to use it themselves. Then they’ll admit there’s way more than meets the eye when it comes to the relative strength of the organizational structure propping up the civil unrest of the last several months.
D.C.’s police chief and mayor claimed Monday that people traveling to the District with the specific intent to disrupt peaceful protests, damage property and behave aggressively toward police were part of an “organized, funded attempt to create violence in our city.”
“This isn’t just Washington, D.C. We’ve seen violence in other cities and to the extent that that is coordinated, us in law enforcement, we have a responsibility to find out if it is and then answer that question ‘Who?’ — and hold them accountable,” D.C. police Chief Peter Newsham said at a Monday news conference with Mayor Muriel Bowser.
The police chief said 70% of those arrested in recent days were from outside D.C.
Seventy percent seems statistically much too high to be dismissed. And, given that, it’s not unreasonable to ask how that many people in an economy cratered by COVID have been able to afford travel to the nation’s capital for a few days of rioting and lawlessness. The DOJ is doing exactly that.