Protests, looting and riots have ravaged the United States since the death of George Floyd in an altercation with Minneapolis police.
And many of those who are protesting have decided to tear down and vandalize statues and monuments on historic figures.
But President Donald Trump has vowed consequences for those who have committed the crimes and now Attorney General Bill Barr is bringing the indictments, The Washington Examiner reported.
“When the real violence started around May 25, 26, and so forth, we started using our joint terrorist task forces around the country. And there are 35 of them around the country,” Attorney General Bill Barr said during Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s podcast on Tuesday.
“And now they are starting to go full bore, cranking out investigations, indictments against the people who are involved in this violence. So we’ve had scores of indictments already for such things as arson, destruction of federal property, things like that. And we have, right now, about 500 investigations underway,” he added.
The attorney general said that groups of “provocateurs and agitators” appeared to be coordinated and have been using anarchist groups to do their bidding.
Barr quipped with Sen. Cruz and cohost, conservative commentator Michael Knowles, that the protesters do not know who the figures are in the statues they are tearing down.
“Old guy with a beard, he’s gotta be bad,” the senator said.
Last week President Trump sent the National Guard to the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Square to protect it from protesters.
President Trump on Thursday told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he understood the complaints from those who want the statue removed.
He said he could see what they were saying about the imagery but, also, he said he “can also see beauty” in the statue.
“You know, we can take things down, too,” he said. “I can understand certain things being taken down. But they ought to go through a process, legally.
“And then we take it down, in some cases put ’em in museums or wherever they may go.,” the president said of the statue, and other statues.
A speaker who was at the rally to have the statue removed said that President Lincoln did not free the slaves because it was the proper thing to do but for his own gain.
“He [Lincoln] freed the slaves for political advancement,” the speaker said. “Not because he cared, not because he wanted to.
“And the thing is that when we freed ourselves, we had seven years of progress, the best seven years for black people in the entire American history,” the speaker said.
“I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent,” the president said in a Twitter thread.
“This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused,” he said. “There will be no exceptions!”