Republican Sen. Tom Cotton: “When you Tear Down Statues of George Washington & Ulysses Grant, It’s Not about the Civil War."

Senator says Dept. of Justice should bring charges against ‘Mob Vigilantes’ who tear down, desecrate statues

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Texas Insider Report) — “When you tear down statues of George Washington and Ulysses S. Grant , it’s not about the Civil War — it’s because you hate America. And, indeed, these rioters hate America,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton in a floor speech to Congress on Monday, calling on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to bring charges against those who destroy historical statues and deface or damage National Monuments across the nation.
 
“For weeks, violent mobs have roamed our streets, destroying property – in most cases with neither resistance from police nor legal consequences.

“We cannot tolerate mob rule, and we cannot allow it to go unpunished. There must be consequences for mob violence – because if you give the mob an inch, they'll take a mile.

"I call upon the Department of Justice to bring charges against these mob vigilantes, prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law,” said the Arkansas Senator, noting that the Anti-Riot Act and the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation & Recognition Act (authored by Democrat Cong. Christopher John) could provide legal grounds for bringing such charges.

While some people may “celebrate the destruction of disfavored statues and monuments,” Cotton asked during his speech how such people would feel about other cases, such as the destruction of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment Memorial in the Boston Commons (at right) — commemorating the 1st All-Volunteer Black Regiment of the Union Army during the Civil War – which was vandalized with four-letter words and phrases including “Black Lives Matter,” “No Justice, No Peace,” and “Police are Pigs.”

Cotton noted that over the past three weeks, mobs have torn down a George Washington statue in Portland, Oregon, as well as a statue of former President Ulysses S. Grant in San Francisco, California.
 
“What of the outlaws in Philadelphia who defaced a statue of Matthias Baldwin, who was a devout and passionate abolitionist?” asked Cotton.

“Mobs don’t discriminate between legitimate and illegitimate targets in their destruction," said Cotton. "That’s because they are mobs.”

In his letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Cotton urged the DOJ to press charges, writing,
 
“These criminals masquerade as protestors, exercising their lawful right to peaceably assemble, but there can be no right to destroy public or private property.

“They aren’t exactly criminal masterminds, typically filming their crimes and posting the videos on social media,” he said in the letter.

President Donald Trump has explicitly denounced the wave of statue-toppling, including during his first re-election campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20th.
 
“This cruel campaign of censorship and exclusion violates everything we hold dear as Americans,” Trump said at the rally (right.) 

“They want to demolish our heritage so they can impose their new oppressive regime in its place,” said Trump, adding that an “unhinged left-wing mob” is attempting “to vandalize our history… tearing down our statues, and punishing, cancelling, and persecuting anyone who doesn't conform to their demands for absolute and total control.”

“We’re not conforming,” he said.

It is unclear in many instances exactly who has been behind each monument’s vandalism and attack. However, Attorney General William Barr has said the Dept. of Justice has evidence that Antifa and other similar groups have “hijacked” initially peaceful protests triggered by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN.
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