An investigation by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of the Interior has found that U.S. Park Police did not clear Lafayette Park on June 1, 2020, so that President Donald Trump could take a photo in front of St. John’s Church. The findings of the investigation dismantle lies made by high-ranking Democrats and legacy media figures that the former president had the park cleared for a photo op.
According to the report, Park Police did not learn of Trump’s interest in surveying the damaged building until hours after the agency had already made plans to clear the area to put up new fencing. Rather, the investigation found that poor communication between agencies and ineffective dispersal warnings “may have contributed to confusion during the operation and the use of tactics that appeared inconsistent.”
“The evidence we reviewed showed that the USPP cleared the park to allow a contractor to safely install antiscale fencing in response to destruction of Federal property and injury to officers that occurred on May 30 and May 31,” said IG Mark Greenblatt in a statement.
“Moreover, the evidence established that relevant USPP officials had made those decisions and had begun implementing the operational plan several hours before they knew of a potential Presidential visit to the park, which occurred later that day. As such, we determined that the evidence did not support a finding that the USPP cleared the park on June 1, 2020, so that then President Trump could enter the park,” he wrote.
In response to the report, Trump issued a statement in which he thanked Greenblatt for “Completely and Totally exonerating” him over the matter.
TRUMP: "Thank you to the Department of the Interior Inspector General” #FromTheDesk pic.twitter.com/KzJlFQI8Lh
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) June 9, 2021
“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,” Trump wrote.