June 10, 2020

Feinstein, Schumer, Warner to FBI, DNI: Release Information Supporting President’s Claims About Protests

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.) to send a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe requesting they promptly inform the public of any information supporting the president’s recent, inflammatory claims regarding nationwide protests of the police killing of George Floyd. 

The senators stress that over the past week, President Trump has asserted—without providing factual support or evidence—that “our nation has been gripped” by, among others, “professional anarchists” and “Antifa.” President Trump further attributed instances of violence and property damage to “acts of domestic terror.”  Versions of these claims have been echoed by other members of the Trump administration, and appear intended to frame the legitimate peaceful protests taking place around the country as terrorist threats in order to justify unnecessary federal, even military, intervention and the excessive use of force. 

The senators urge Director Wray and Director Ratcliffe to immediately release to the public any information they may have supporting the president’s statements and respond to questions from the press. 

The letter is available here and below: 

Dear Director Wray and Director Ratcliffe,

We write to request that you promptly inform the public of any information that supports recent claims made by the President related to protests of the police killing of George Floyd.  

On June 1, 2020, President Trump asserted that “our nation has been gripped” by, among others, “professional anarchists” and “Antifa.” He further attributed instances of violence and property damage to “acts of domestic terror.”  These statements are similar to those made by other members of the Administration. 

These claims are highly inflammatory.  They also appear intended to frame the legitimate peaceful protests taking place around the country as terrorist threats in order to justify unnecessary federal, even military, intervention and the excessive use of force. Worse still, the President and others have made these assertions without any factual support or evidence. 

These vague and unsubstantiated claims do not justify the extraordinary measures taken in response to these protests.  In recent days, the Administration has deployed numerous federal agencies to the streets of our cities, considered the use of active duty troops against Americans, attacked peaceful protesters, and instigated tensions with state and municipal authorities.  These actions are not sustainable in a democracy.

We therefore urge that you immediately release to the public any information you may have supporting the President’s statements and respond to questions from the press.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

Sincerely, 

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