The United States Attorney for the District of Columbia will not pursue an investigation into whether the demonstrators who attacked Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and others following President Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention acceptance speech at the White House are affiliated with any national groups like “Antifa.”
Paul was one of several people attacked by a number of protesters as he left the White House speech back in late August. The mob, whom Paul said numbered in the dozens, screamed at the Kentucky Senator and demanded that he pursue justice for Breonna Taylor, a Louisville, Kentucky, woman killed by police during a raid earlier this year.
Paul later pointed out that the mob was uninformed; he authored the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act in Congress calling for an end to so-called “no-knock warrants,” similar to ones that racial justice activists claim resulted in Taylor’s death. A Kentucky grand jury, which refused to indict the officers involved in the incident, was reportedly told that the raid was not, in fact, pursuant to a no-knock warrant.
At the time, Paul told media that he believed many of the protesters who attacked RNC attendees had traveled from outside the city, a claim borne out by evidence that key “anti-fascist” activists from places like Portland, Oregon, were identified as being among those demonstrating against the president during the RNC. The infamous Antifa “snack van” — a fixture of anti-Trump administration protests in Portland — was spotted in the city at the time, for example.
“I promise you that at least some of the members and the people who attacked us were not from D.C., they flew here on a plane, they all have fresh new clothes and they were paid to be here,” Paul told Fox News. “It is a crime to do that and it needs to be traced. The FBI needs to investigate.”
On Tuesday, though, Paul noted on Twiter that the US Attorney would not be pursuing an investigation.
“The DC U.S. Attorney today confirmed to me that they will not pursue an investigation of who is funding the thugs who attacked my wife and me and sent a DC police officer to the hospital,” he noted.
DC police, though, are investigating whether at least one protester — the owner of the Antifa “snack van” — received funding to travel to Washington, D.C. during the RNC. The same van was spotted in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during protests and unrest there, following a police-involved shooting there.
The Department of Justice and the FBI are also pursuing their own investigation into “Antifa” and “anti-facist” organizations, which they believe may communicate and organize through a national network. According to Newsweek, there have been few public updates about that investigation, but the DOJ is operating under the assumption that “Antifa” coordinated incidents of unrest across the country over the summer, resulting in millions of dollars in damage to cities like Portland, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Seattle.
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