Former President Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr, and other administration officials scored an incredibly court victory on Tuesday.
The Radical Left lost big: a federal judge denied suits from Black Lives Matter and the American Civil Liberties Union claiming Trump and his officials used unnecessary force to clear the Lafayette Square area near the White House during a Far-Left protest.
The plaintiffs, BLM and ACLU respectively, are claiming that “the government used unnecessary force to enable a photo op of President Donald Trump holding a Bible outside of the historical St. John’s Church.”
Judge Dabney L. Friedrich called the claims “too speculative” after a recent watchdog report concluded that in fact Trump had no say in clearing the protestors, and did not direct any use of force to clear a path for any photo shoot.
The judge ruled that Barr and then-Park Police Chief Gregory Monahan were within the legal scope of their duties and thus immune from civil suits by the Far-Left organizations. Judge Friedrich also stated that Black Lives Matter didn’t have any standing for litigation because they could not prove there was direct harm against them as a result of President Trump’s walk to Lafayette Square. BLM also failed to prove that the Park Police, who decided to push protestors further from the White House for security reasons, caused them any direct harm as well.
According to the judge, the claims against Trump and Barr relied on “conclusory allegations” that they, along with Sec. of Defense Mark Esper, directed a coordinated attack to violate the civil rights of Far-Left protesters before clearing Lafayette Square park.
The judge acknowledged Lafayette Square was indeed was cleared of demonstrators right before Trump, Barr, and Esper’s walk to the church. But these events weren’t enough to allow conspiracy claims to go forward without further, specific factual allegations.
Additionally, Judge Friedrich denied the Radical Left demonstrators an injunction against further federal action — a move that would allow them to avoid arrest.
In their suit, BLM and the ACLU claimed that Park Police “officers attacked and improperly dispersed the protesters—they did not restrain them or attempt to seize them in place…,”
However, according to the facts of the case, the judge said the opposite was true: “the officers attempted to cause the protestors and fleeing crowd to leave their location, rather than cause them to remain there.”
Earlier this month the Office of the Inspector General for the Interior Department released a report concluding that a decision was made to clear demonstrators in Lafayette Square not to allow the president and his officials to walk around with the press, but to create space to build an antiscale wall to prevent further damage to federal property. However, the decision was not made by Trump and instead handed down by Park Police
“The evidence we obtained did not support a finding that the [United States 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 the destruction of property and injury to officers occurring on May 30 and 31,” the Inspector General’s report read.
Author: Asa McCue
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