Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in 2020 that former President Donald Trump ordered a park cleared so that he could take photographs at a Washington, D.C., church, a claim that has since been debunked.
The two highest-ranking congressional Democrats claimed in a June 1, 2020 joint statement that Trump “dishonor[ed] every value that faith teaches us” by “tear-gassing peaceful protestors without provocation just so that [he] could pose for photos outside a church.” A Department of the Interior Inspector General report released on Wednesday found that United States Park Police (USPP) had already been ordered to clear Lafayette Park to build new anti-riot fencing before Trump decided to visit St. John’s Church.
Other House Democrats, including California Rep. Adam Schiff, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, then-presidential nominee Joe Biden, and New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler repeated the claims.
When a president is fearful and flailing,
Lacks the capacity to lead and to unify,
Turns the American military against its own citizens,
And tear gasses peaceful protestors to make way for a photo op,
We must do what he cannot:
Bring people together, and fix a broken system.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 2, 2020
The Occupant of the @WhiteHouse tear gassed peaceful protestors for a photo opp.
This man is dishonoring his oath, inciting violence & failing the nation.
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) June 2, 2020
He’s using the American military against the American people.
He tear-gassed peaceful protesters and fired rubber bullets.
For a photo.
For our children, for the very soul of our country, we must defeat him. But I mean it when I say this: we can only do it together. https://t.co/G1yE67q9Nz
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 2, 2020
“The evidence we obtained did not support a finding that the USPP 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 anti-scale fencing in response to destruction of property and injury to officers occurring on May 30 and 31. Further, the evidence showed that the USPP did not know about the President’s potential movement until mid- to late afternoon on June 1—hours after it had begun developing its operational plan and the fencing contractor had arrived in the park,” the Inspector General, Mark Lee Greenblatt, wrote.
Protesters and rioters occupied Lafayette Square on May 30 and 31 following the death of George Floyd. At night, rioters set fire to St. John’s Episcopal Church. (RELATED: Protesters And Black Lives Matter Suing Trump Over Eviction From Lafayette Park)
Despite the claims from Biden, Schumer, Pelosi, Schiff, Pressley, and Nadler, the Inspector General report clears Park Police of the allegation that they used tear gas on protesters and rioters, according to Politico.
Schumer, Pelosi, Schiff, Pressley, and Nadler did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.
Following a report from the New York Times that Russia paid Taliban soldiers bounties for dead American soldiers, Pelosi claimed that Trump’s “refusal to stand up to the Russians… jeopardizes lives in the region, as the Afghan government and the United States are engaged in critical peace negotiations with the Taliban.”