AG Barr: ‘We Have Evidence' Antifa is ‘Instigating’ Violent Riots
Attorney General remarks come as investigation is launched into far left group
Attorney General William Barr has revealed that officials in law enforcement now have evidence that Antifa and other far-left extremist groups have been involved in inciting and participating in the violent riots sweeping across the US amid the death of George Floyd.
Barr's remarks come a day after President Donald Trump's administration launched an investigation into Antifa suspected of being behind the nationwide rioting and unrest.
Barr said at a news conference:
“While many have peacefully expressed their anger and grief, others have hijacked protests to engage in lawlessness — violent rioting and arson, looting of businesses and public property, assaults on law enforcement officers and innocent people, and even the murder of a federal agent."
“Such senseless acts of anarchy are not exercises of First Amendment rights; they are crimes designed to terrify fellow citizens and intimidate communities.”
“As I told the governors on Monday, we understand the distinction among three different sets of actors," Barr added.
"The large preponderance of those who are protesting are peaceful demonstrators who are exercising their First Amendment rights,” Barr continued.
“At some demonstrations, there are groups that exploit the opportunity to engage in looting."
"And finally, at some demonstration, there are extremist agitators who are hijacking the protests to pursue their own separate and violent agenda.”
“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."
"We are also seeing foreign actors playing all sides to exacerbate the violence,” Barr continued.
“The Justice Department is also working closely with our state and local partners to address violent riots around the country. Our federal law enforcement efforts are focused on the violent instigators.”
Earlier this week, Trump declared Antifa as a terrorist group.
"The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization," President Trump tweeted.
The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
On Saturday, Trump highlighted Antifa's role in the violent nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.
The president pointed to the domestic terror group after Minnesota Governor Tim Walz attempted to suggest that foreign influences, white supremacists, and drug cartels are fueling chaos across America.