The gang at Fox News would rather the Justice Department focus on last year's protests than the current attacks on school board officials as they try to enforce COVID rules.
Fox News contributor Lara Trump, daughter-in-law of former President Donald Trump, on Thursday claimed that "entire cities" were "destroyed" during racial justice protests in 2020.
"If you want to go after people, how about cops that were murdered? How about complete and entire cities that were destroyed? Those are the domestic terrorists, not parents who want to make sure their children are receiving an education that they agree with." Trump said Thursday during a "Fox & Friends" segment.
Trump's statement is an apparent reference to violence that broke out in some cities in 2020 alongside protests for racial justice following the police murder of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minnesota. But no American cities were destroyed in 2020 or at any time in recent history.
The Department of Justice has not ignored the crimes that occurred while the largely peaceful protests took place. In a Sept. 2020 release, the Department indicated that over 300 people had been charged with federal crimes stemming from the events.
During his Senate confirmation hearing in February, Garland was asked by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) if he would "defend the Portland courthouse against anarchists."
Garland replied, "Any attack on a federal building or damage to a federal building violates federal statutes and those who do it will be prosecuted."
In the hearing, Garland also characterized attacks on government property no matter the motivating ideology as "criminal."
Trump's made the false claim during a segment about a recent memo from Attorney General Merrick Garland stating that the Department of Justice would be investigating threats of violence and intimidation against school officials across the country. Republican officials and conservative media outlets have falsely claimed that the memo is an attempt to silence dissent from the right.
Other Fox News figures have also attacked the Justice Department for investigating violence and harassment targeted at school officials. An outbreak of intimidation tactics at multiple school board meetings across the country has followed a media campaign by Fox News itself to whip up outrage over issues like masking, vaccination, and anti-racist curricula.
Republican lawmakers have attacked the memo as well. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said in a hearing on Tuesday that the memo was intended to "chill" free speech, while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday called on the FBI director to ignore the document.
The party has said that getting voters engaged over these issues is central to its electoral campaign in 2022.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.