Emily Zanotti


Central American countries are heeding President Donald Trump’s call to improve security on their own borders, and a new “migrant caravan” headed to the United States’ border with Mexico, was turned back as it reached Guatemala, and its members were bussed back to their homes in Honduras.

The United States Customs and Border Protection Agency struggled to contain an influx of migrants from Guatemala, Honduras, and other Central American countries back in 2018, with thousands upon thousands of asylum seekers presenting themselves at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Trump administration subsequently struggled to handle border policy, balancing public opinion — which seemed to weigh in favor of migrants detained at the border — with border control and enforcing immigration policy.

By early 2019, after a series of changes including a “remain in Mexico” policy that forced asylum seekers to wait for their hearings south of the U.S. border and pressure on the Mexican government to control their own southern border, the migrant caravans stopped.

Late last week, however, a new caravan of migrants entered Guatemala, intent on moving through the Central American country to Mexico and then on to the U.S. border, likely reaching the U.S.-Mexico border just ahead of the presidential elections.

This time, though, Guatemala took decisive action, according to The Associated Press.

“Hundreds of Honduran migrants who had entered Guatemala this week without registering were being bused back to their country’s border Saturday by authorities who met them with a large roadblock,” the outlet reported. “By 5 a.m. Saturday, none of 1,000 or so migrants who had been stalled by police and soldiers remained along a stretch of rural highway. Police said that hours earlier, migrants had boarded buses and army trucks to be taken back to the border.”

Adding to suspected pressure from the Trump administration and from the Mexican government was fear over the novel coronavirus.

“Seldom since 2018 had the prospects for a migrant caravan been so discouraging,” AP noted. “Guatemala’s president saw them as a contagion risk amid the coronavirus pandemic and vowed to deport them. Mexico’s president speculated that the caravan was a plot to influence the U.S. elections. And newly formed Tropical Storm Gamma threatened to dump torrential rain on their planned route through southern Mexico.”

Mexico is just now experiencing a decline in coronavirus infections. Around 750,000 Mexicans fell ill with COVID-19, and around 80,000 have died. In Guatemala, the virus is still a clear and present danger; there have been just shy of 100,000 cases and around 4,000 deaths. Cases have leveled off, but Guatemala is not yet experiencing a decline in coronavirus infections.

The Hondurans that are able to continue through Guatemala and on to Mexico will find assistance. Mexico says they will help those seeking asylum, though that help may be limited by a looming threat of Trump administration tariffs. Typically, Mexico offers members of migrant caravans the option of staying in Mexico on a work visa or returning, all expenses paid, back to their countries of origin.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: New Migrant Caravan, Headed For U.S. Border, Turned Back In Guatemala

The New York Times fact-checked Tuesday’s presidential debate in real-time, but some of the outlet’s assessments left its social media followers seeing red.

In the “domestic policy” portion of the debate, Democratic nominee Joe Biden claimed that the Obama administration had left President Donald Trump a “booming economy” and that Trump had squandered the gift, bringing American industry to a screeching halt, plunging the nation into record unemployment and a shrinking gross domestic product.

Biden’s claim relies on cutting the novel coronavirus out of the equation completely and operating as though the economy ended up in freefall in the first quarter of 2020 because of Trump administration policies and not because of a near-nationwide lockdown that forced businesses to shutter, drove millions out of work, and nearly destroyed retail sales, lending, and investment.

The New York Times, to their credit, pointed out Biden’s mistake, calling his claim “false.”

“The economy was not ‘booming’ in the final year of Biden’s time as vice president,” the outlet noted, “and Trump did not ’cause’ the pandemic recession. The economy was healthy in 2016, but growth had dipped below 2%.”

The response was tepid. The economy was, in fact, doing well before COVID-19 hit, and before the pandemic, many voters credited their newfound economic stability to Trump’s policies, which included across-the-board tax cuts and incentives for companies that had gone abroad during the Obama years to return operations to the United States. Workers also largely approved of Trump’s decision to renegotiate key trade deals.

Although it may not be evident to all American workers, CNN reports that the economy, post-coronavirus, is also “booming.”

“On paper, the economy is roaring back even stronger than Powell and many economists expected: More than 22 million jobs vanished in the spring lockdown, but 10.6 million jobs have since been added back,” the network said earlier this week. “And US gross domestic product — the broadest measure of the economy — is expected to rebound sharply after collapsing at a revised, annualized and seasonally adjusted rate of 31.7% between April and June. The Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now model predicts GDP will jump at an annualized and seasonally-adjusted rate of 32% in the third quarter.”

The New York Times’ social media followers, however, had a big problem with the paper pointing that out and then using a graphic, showing the Biden fact-check, as the key image for their story on how both candidates bent the truth.

“THIS is what you focus on?” one cried, urging the paper to showcase Trump’s foibles instead.

“Wow. What happened to your paper?” asked another.

“Collaborators,” sneered another. Yet another simply told the paper to “Delete this.”

A few even threatened to cancel their subscriptions: “Cancelling my subscription tomorrow,” one wailed. “I’m done with you. This is ridiculous. Ludicrous. Shameful.”

Those were, of course, the more rational of the responses. Some preferred to simply tell The New York Times to do unspeakable things to itself over a single fact-check.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: NYT Fact-Checks Joe Biden On Economy, Gets Scorched By Biden Supporters For ‘Collaborating’ With Trump

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday night that he plans to initiate an investigation into President Donald Trump’s taxes and will have city officials check whether Trump has paid his “fair share.”

The New York Times published the first in a series of reports Sunday claiming that Trump paid no income taxes in 11 of the last 18 years and that Trump’s tax burden was reduced to just $750 after he used ongoing business losses to offset millions in profits. The report does not allege that Trump committed any crime — as The Daily Wire reported Monday, the word “illegal” does not appear in any form in the article, though the NY Times does speculate — and notes that the Internal Revenue Service is aware of Trump’s tax returns.

Trump remains the subject of an ongoing audit, centered around a $72.5 million deduction, and appears to be aware of Trump’s tax situation, suggesting Trump is not under investigation for tax-related crimes, like evasion.

De Blasio, who has been under fire for other issues, largely related to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic that centered on New York City, seized on the report to attack the president.

“Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday night said the city will look into whether President Trump has paid the correct amount of city taxes,” the New York Post reported Tuesday.

“Our City Finance Department will get to work right away to determine if, in fact, the President of the United States cheated New York City on his taxes,” de Blasio told local media. “We’re going to pursue this with all we got because he needs to pay for his fair share.”

De Blasio seemed to ignore the suggestion that Trump’s tax returns are the center of a battle between the president’s former businesses and the federal government and instead appeared to claim that Trump is evading paying his “fair share” to both the federal and New York state coffers.

“I think a lot of his supporters are going to look at this and be very angry that it’s the least patriotic thing you could do to use your wealth and power to evade the taxes you owe the people of this country,” de Blasio added. “I think we can guarantee based on the information from New York Times, that he hasn’t paid his City taxes the way he should have.”

Both the president and one of the Trump Organization’s attorneys, Alan Garten, have denied The New York Times’ report, with Trump claiming the story is “totally made up,” and his former attorney noting that the New York Times piece is “riddled with gross inaccuracies.”

“The New York Times’ story is riddled with gross inaccuracies. Over the past decade the President has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government,” Garten said in a statement to media Monday. “While we tried to explain this to the Times, they refused to listen and rejected our repeated request that they show us any of the documentation they purport to be relying on to substantiate their claims.”

Trump also boasted on Twitter Monday that he’s paid “millions” in taxes — a claim that’s borne out by the NY Times report, which does note that, before the $72.5 million deduction, Trump paid around $95 million to the IRS.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Bill De Blasio Announces Investigation Into Trump Taxes, Says Trump Needs To Pay ‘Fair Share’

Actress Alyssa Milano, who recently became a top supporter of the “Defund the Police” movement, which seeks to disband police departments and redirect funds to “community organizations,” was quick to call the cops, the Daily Mail reports, over reports of an “armed gunman” in her neighborhood.

Fortunately, no one was hurt; the “armed gunman” turned out to be a teenager targeting squirrels with an air gun, according to the outlet. He turned himself in to authorities after realizing he had caused the problem.

Milano, though, who recently tweeted to “Defund the Police” and asked her social media followers to sign on to a petition that “demands a 90 percent reduction in police funding” in the Los Angeles city budget, triggered what neighbors told the Mail was a “massive” police presence after calling 911 to report gunshots on Sunday.

“Alyssa and her talent agent husband … had dialed 911 when they heard what they believed to be gunshots on their 1.39-acre property,” the Daily Mail reported (Milano now challenges that version of events). “They allegedly told the emergency hotline the sound ‘scared their dogs’ and made them feel like the gunman was nearby. A description was given of a suspect to the officers who was ‘male, 40-years old, with long rifle.’”

The couple was reportedly concerned that the alleged gunman could be a stalker; Milano has filed restraining orders against an older man who has broken into her home twice.

The call triggered “a response that included seven Ventura County Sheriffs’ vehicles, one K-9 unit, a police helicopter, and one Los Angeles Fire Department team that sat down the street on standby.”

Neighbors reportedly warned each other to “stay inside and stay safe” as police combed the neighborhood.

Neighbors, though, were also quick to point out that Milano, who has petitioned to severely cripple law enforcement, did not seek out alternative ways of resolving the situation.

“She can tweet those things because at the end of the day she lives behind gates in a gated community. She knows the police will come to save her. But what about all those people who don’t have that luxury and live in unsafe neighborhoods? She obviously doesn’t care,” a neighbor told the mail referencing Milano’s tweets from over the summer. “She uses her platform in hypocritical ways. Why not send your husband into the yard to find out what is actually going on before you call the police? I would guesstimate the response today from law enforcement cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.”

“In July, the left-leaning activist Alyssa tweeted out to her 3.7 million followers a link, urging them to sign the ‘People’s Budget L.A.’ that demands a 90 percent reduction in police funding,” the Daily Mail noted. “[Milano also] tweeted: ‘What is the Los Angeles Police Protective League? @LAPPL is a narrow special interest group that lobbies our politicians to protect the LAPD budget, pension + officers. But electeds (sic) need to #ProtectPeopleNot Police. Sign the #People’sBudgetLA petition.’”

UPDATE: Milano has issued a statement claiming a neighbor alerted them to a man “dressed in black” holding a rifle. It is not clear, based on her statement, who called the police though her neighbors claim to the Daily Mail that she was the one who alerted authorities. Milano says that is “a lie,” and thanked the Ventura police department for responding to the call regardless.

Milano later says that she believes “equally trained non-police professionals” should be available to respond to “addiction and mental health crises and non-violent events” so that police can focus on incidents like the one that occurred in her neighborhood.

This is a departure from her earlier statements which include a call to “defund the police” altogether and for “abolition,” presumably meaning the full abolition of law enforcement, and her support for a 90% financial reduction in the Los Angeles Police Department’s annual budget, which would severely hinder the department from responding to typical 911 calls — a situation that cities like Minneapolis, Minnesota, are currently struggling with.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: [UPDATED] ‘Defund The Police’ Activist Alyssa Milano Triggers Massive Law Enforcement Response Over Gun Threat

A new lawsuit, filed by the Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Denise George, demands that flight logs from Jeffrey Epstein’s four helicopters and three planes be made public, sparking “panic” among the late socialite’s famous friends, according to reports from the U.K.’s Mirror and Daily Mail.

“The Attorney General for the US Virgin Islands, where Epstein had a home, has demanded logs for his four helicopters and three planes, from 1998 to his suicide last year,” the Mirror reported Monday. “Denise George has filed a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate, alleging 22 counts, including aggravated rape, child abuse and neglect, human trafficking, forced labour and prostitution.”

“As well as the passenger lists, Ms. George is seeking any ‘complaints or reports of potentially suspicious conduct’ and any personal notes the pilots made,” the outlet noted.

George is also seeking names of possible witnesses who may have interacted with Epstein, his guests, his pilots, or other members of his household staff during Epstein’s visits to the islands, as well as “observers” who may have interacted with Epstein’s passengers — both his famous friends and the women Epstein is accused of trafficking for sex.

In 2009, subpoenaed records from just one of Epstein’s private plane, nicknamed the “Lolita Express,” broke open the case against the Manhattan socialite. Those logs revealed the names of some of Epstein’s most famous travel companions, including former President Bill Clinton and the United Kingdom’s Prince Andrew.

Lawyers for Epstein’s alleged victims, though, believe those records are just the “tip of the iceberg” and note that the 2009 document cache did not include flight logs from Epstein’s “chief pilot Larry Visoki who had flown Epstein for more than 25 years,” or logs from at least seven other aircraft.

Epstein, of course, committed suicide in jail last year while being held pending trial on a second round of sexual assault and sex trafficking allegations. He had already been convicted on several counts of sex trafficking stemming from his years allegedly operating a global sex ring with his former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell. Maxwell is now facing a host of similar charges.

All eyes are fixed, particularly, on Prince Andrew, who is under intense pressure to speak with American authorities about his friendship with Epstein and his role, if any, in Epstein’s enterprises.

Last week, a former Epstein private chef, Adam Lang, opened up to the FBI about his relationship with Epstein, the New York Post reports. Lang may have offered information about Prince Andrew; “Lang was on three flights with Epstein and Andrew — two in February 1999 and one in May 2000,” according to the Post.

“The chef, 52, offered to talk with FBI investigators after he received a plea from Virginia Guiffre, who has accused British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell of arranging for her to have sex with the disgraced royal when she was only 17,” the outlet noted. “Andrew vehemently denies the allegations.”

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: REPORT: Lawsuit Demands All Epstein Flight Logs Be Made Public, Jeffrey Epstein’s Friends ‘Panicking’

Oregon State Police who are now charged with keeping the peace in Portland and its surrounding suburbs have been “cross-deputized” by the federal government, a local news organization revealed Wednesday, meaning that those arrested by Oregon state police officers can be prosecuted by the United States attorney for crimes stemming from the ongoing unrest even if the local prosecutor refuses to.

KGW Portland reports that Oregon State Police were actually deputized earlier this summer, perhaps as part of a deal to draw down a federal police presence in Portland. As part of that agreement, the Department of Homeland Security removed a number of federal agents from “elite” Customs and Border Protection units that had been protecting a federal courthouse from rioters if the Oregon state government agreed to provide ongoing protection for federal properties.

Now, it seems, the agreement also involved allowing the United States attorney the opportunity to supersede decisions made by the Multnomah County district attorney who noted, early on in the unrest, that he would pursue only “limited prosecution” for certain crimes, including interfering with a peace officer, disorderly conduct in the second degree, harassment, criminal trespass, and even “riot.”

The Multnomah County prosecutors office also said, back in early August, that if a person is arrested for “a misdemeanor or felony crime that causes only financial harm during a protest,” they will be offered “conditional dismissal.”

The cross-deputization, issued by the U.S. Marshals, KGW says, “could allow state police to bypass the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office entirely when it comes to charges against arrested protesters.”

Federal officials would not reveal the full list of crimes they may prosecute even if the Multnomah County DA refuses, but federal officers did make a number of arrests while they were assigned to protect federal property in downtown Portland, including “trespassing on federal property, arson, assaulting federal officers, failing to comply with a lawful order and creating a disturbance.”

It is also possible that the federal deputization will allow the U.S. Attorney’s office to investigate those individuals arrested for ties to larger, national organizations. Attorney General William Barr announced, back in June, that the federal government is treating “Antifa” — or “anti-fascists” — as a domestic terror organization and is seeking information on how the group organizes and moves money and supplies across state lines.

In recent days, President Donald Trump has leaned heavily on Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, to get the unrest, which has gone on for nearly 100 days, under control. Wheeler recently became the top target of protests, and as The Daily Wire reported Wednesday, is moving his residence after being targeted with nightly demonstrations, many of which have been declared riots. Wheeler, in his own statement over the weekend, blamed Trump’s rhetoric — and not his governing strategy — for the ongoing violence.

Trump has, in response, threatened to intervene — and even defund — cities like Portland, which he called “lawless.”

“My Administration will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking Federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses. We’re putting them on notice today,” the president tweeted Wednesday.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: Oregon State Police Now ‘Federally Deputized,’ Giving US Attorney Power To Prosecute Rioters Even If DA Won’t

A school district in Tennessee is asking parents to sign a form agreeing not to monitor their children’s virtual classrooms over concerns that “non-student observers” could overhear confidential information.

The form, a copy of which was sent to the Tennessee Star, reads: “RCS strives to present these opportunities in a secure format that protects student privacy to the greatest extent possible, however, because these meetings will occur virtually RCS is limited in its ability to fully control certain factors such as non-student observers that may be present in the home of a student participating in the virtual meeting.”

The agreement goes on to “strongly discourage” “non-student observation of online meetings due to the potential of confidential information about a student being revealed,” and while it does not specifically say that parents may not be present while their child is participating in virtual instruction, it does say that a “violation of this agreement may result in RCS removing my child from the virtual meeting.”

The agreement, of course, raised parents’ interest, according to the Tennessee Star, particularly given that the agreement implied items of interest might be being discussed in classrooms without parents’ knowledge.

In an email to parents sent earlier this week, the Rutherford School District said that they’re taking parents’ concerns under advisement.

“We are aware of the concern that has been raised about this distance-learning letter that was sent to parents,” a spokesperson told the Star. “The intent was not to prevent parents from being involved with their children during distance learning, but it was intended to protect the academic privacy of other students in the classroom who are visible during certain virtual class sessions.”

Instead, the school district is now instructing parents not to record virtual instruction to view later.

“We have issued new guidance to principals that parents can assist their children during virtual group lessons with permission of the instructor but should refrain from sharing or recording any information about other students in the classroom,” the spokesperson added.

Virtual education — now normal in most public school districts across the country in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic — does offer parents a more hands-on experience in their children’s education, an experience that, prior to school year kickoff, seemed to be of concern to some teachers who see promoting “social justice” as part of their role as an educator.

Fox News reported last month that at least one Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, schoolteacher was so concerned about “conservative” parents objecting to his instruction that he warned teachers to be careful about who is witnessing their virtual sessions.

“So, this fall, virtual class discussion will have many potential spectators — parents, siblings, etc. — in the same room. We’ll never be quite sure who is overhearing the discourse. What does this do for our equity/inclusion work?” the teacher tweeted. “How much have students depended on the (somewhat) secure barriers of our physical classrooms to encourage vulnerability? How many of us have installed some version of ‘what happens here stays here’ to help this?”

While conversations about race are in my wheelhouse and remain a concern in this no-walls environment — I am most intrigued by the damage that ‘helicopter/snowplow’ parents can do in the host conversations about gender/sexuality,” he continued. “And while ‘conservative’ parents are my chief concern — I know that the damage can come from the left too. If we are engaged in the messy work of destabilizing a kid’s racism or homophobia or transphobia — how much do we want their classmates’ parents piling on?”

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: School District Making Parents Sign Waiver Agreeing Not To Monitor Virtual Instruction

A new report from the Daily Mail claims that the rich and famous, who make up much of Los Angeles’ tax base, are fleeing the city “in droves” over the unrest, coronavirus-related restrictions, and municipal mismanagement that has resulted in a crime wave.

“A makeshift tent city made up of flapping tarpaulins and cardboard boxes surround [Arnold Schwarzenegger’s former] gym on all sides,” the Daily Mail reports of downtown L.A. “Junkies and the homeless, many of whom are clearly mentally ill, walk the palm-lined streets like zombies – all just three blocks from multi-million-dollar homes overlooking the Pacific.”

“Stolen bicycles are piled high on pavements littered with broken syringes,” the outlet continues. “TV bulletins are filled with horror stories from across the city; of women being attacked during their morning jog or residents returning home to find strangers defecating in their front gardens.”

A moving company head told the outlet, “there is a mass exodus from Hollywood,” and that “a lot of it is to do with politics.”

“Liberal politics has destroyed this city,” he said. “The homeless encampments are legal and there’s nothing the police can do. White, affluent middle-class folk are getting out. People don’t feel safe any more.”

Like most major cities, Los Angeles has experienced mass unrest since late May, following George Floyd’s death while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. That has certainly led to a wave of uneasiness among residents, but homelessness has also taken a jump, and, like New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, and other municipalities, Los Angeles is experiencing an uptick in crime.

This week, Los Angeles authorities announced that the city would experience “rolling blackouts” as a way of saving energy during a heatwave, shocking some residents.

The city’s lack of management has only made matters worse, residents told the Daily Mail.

“Hollywood has always been the wokest of the woke, so politicians have done nothing to stop people sleeping on the streets. It’s not illegal and the weather’s nice, so they keep coming,” a former Hollywood publicist told the outlet. “There is insufficient housing, inadequate mental health care. Add in COVID and it’s a perfect storm.”

As The Daily Wire reported recently, even comedian Joe Rogan says he is drawing up his roots in California and moving to a “redder” state.

“When you look at the traffic, when you look at the economic despair, when you look at the homelessness problem that’s accelerated radically … I think there are too many people here,” Rogan said in his announcement. “I think it’s not tenable. I don’t think that it’s manageable. I think every mayor does a sh*t job of doing it because I don’t think anybody could do a great job of it. I think there’s certain things you’re gonna have to deal with when you have a population of whatever the f**k L.A. is, it’s like 20 million-plus people.”

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: REPORT: Rich And Famous Leaving Hollywood ‘In Droves’ Over Unrest, Taxes

A Chicago Branch of “Black Lives Matter” gathered in front of a police station on Chicago’s south side where demonstrators claimed more than 100 people were being held following arrests for looting and rioting in the city Sunday night, demanding the “protesters” be released.

The rally, which drew a few dozen protesters, was advertised as being in support of those jailed for looting a number of luxury stores and boutiques in Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” shopping district. A flyer for the demonstration claimed that those “arrested last night” were “protesting another police shooting” and were taken to jail for “taking reparations from corporations.”

A speaker at the rally, Ariel Atkins, who is an organizer for Chicago Black Lives Matter, defended the robbery and destruction of property again as “reparations” for oppression.

“I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats,” Ariel Atkins said, per NBC Chicago. “That makes sure that person has clothes.”

“That is reparations,” she continued. “Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance.”

Protesters held up banners reading, “Our Futures Have Been Looted From Us. Loot Back.”

According to the Chicago Police Department, neighborhood activists may have instigated Sunday night’s unrest with a video posted to social media, begging for retaliation against Chicago police and the city of Chicago in general for what the video claimed was a police shooting of a 15-year-old unarmed boy in the city’s Englewood neighborhood — a neighborhood which has seen an incredible uptick in violence since the city lifted most of its coronavirus-related restrictions back in May.

Chicago’s Deputy Police Chief Delonda Tally told local media that those reports were completely wrong. Officers were called to the Englewood neighborhood to investigate reports of an armed man. They eventually encountered 20-year-old Latrell Allen, whom police claim shot at least six rounds at officers while fleeing from CPD on foot. An exchange of gunfire ensued, and Allen sustained a non-life-threatening injury.

Allen is recovering in a local hospital. He is facing charges of attempted murder, per NBC.

Members of the Chicago Black Lives Matter group that attended Monday night’s protest indicated that the facts of the shooting are immaterial and that looters were rightfully protesting an injustice when hundreds broke into luxury stores, local boutiques, and electronics retailers Sunday night, with one group even going so far as to use a rented truck to haul away pilfered goods.

In a statement issued Monday, Black Lives Matter targeted Lightfoot, saying that she “has not learned anything since May, and she would be wise to understand that the people will keep rising up until the CPD is abolished and our Black communities are fully invested in.”

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: ‘This Is Reparations!’: BLM Chicago Defends Looting, Holds Rally For ‘Protesters’ Arrested In Sunday’s Riots

Justice Department officials told a hearing, chaired by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), that investigators have opened around 300 “domestic terror” cases as a result of the riots that arose following national anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests in June and July.

Cruz is hosting a Congressional inquiry into the role of Antifa or other anarchist groups in organizing, directing, and even arming riots that took place in a number of major cities, including in places like Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, where the unrest continues.

On Tuesday, Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney leading Attorney General William Barr’s inquiry into the matter, testified that “the feds have opened hundreds of federal criminal investigations surrounding the violence and rioting since May 28,” according to Fox News.

“They have since May 28 [opened] over 300 domestic terrorist investigations,” Cox said. “That does not include any potential civil rights investigations or violent crime associated with the riots.”

Cruz’s inquiry focuses on rioters who may have “hijacked” the peaceful protests that followed the death of George Floyd, a black man who perished while in Minneapolis police custody, according to the outlet. The hearings have already proven contentious. On Tuesday, Sen. Maisie Hirono (D-HI) made a dramatic exit from the meeting after Cruz confronted her for refusing to acknowledge Antifa’s role in the unrest or even say the organization’s name.

The Justice Department announced back in early June that they would be looking into whether individuals, arrested during riots in places like Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Chicago, Illinois, had ties to more radical groups. By June 10th, at least 50 people had been arrested in connection with instigating violent unrest, but none were ultimately charged with domestic terrorism or accused of having connections to a domestic terror group, according to Forbes.

Attorney General Barr later noted that the FBI and DOJ investigations into Antifa are ongoing and that charges would only come after months of investigation, potentially with the cooperation of those arrested during the riots.

“We have evidence that Antifa and other similar extremist groups, as well as actors of a variety of different political persuasions, have been involved in instigating and participating in the violent activity,” Barr said in a press conference in early June.

“We have some investigations underway, very focused investigations on certain individuals that relate to Antifa,” Barr said in a separate interview. “But in the initial phase of identifying people and arresting them, they were arrested for crimes that don’t require us to identify a particular group or don’t necessitate that.”

Cruz’s focus was on Portland, which has seen more than 60 straight days of nightly unrest, although the situation has calmed somewhat since the Department of Homeland Security began to pull agents assigned to protect that city’s federal courthouse. Despite claims from Democratic legislators that Portland’s protests were mostly peaceful — a claim not borne out by on-the-ground footage — Cruz and Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli both noted that federal agents, and the courthouse itself, sustained considerable damage.

“Cuccinelli told lawmakers that an estimated 140 federal law enforcement officers guarding a Portland federal courthouse sustained 277 injuries due to the violent and sustained nightly attacks at the building,” according to Fox News.

Author: Emily Zanotti

Source: Daily Wire: US Attorney: Feds Have Opened 300 ‘Domestic Terror’ Investigations Following Riots

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