McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump over treatment of protesters

Source: The Hill | June 2, 2020 | Jordain Carney

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday blocked a resolution from Democrats that would have condemned President Trump after rubber bullets and gas was used on peaceful protesters near the White House.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) tried to pass the resolution, which was introduced earlier Tuesday, by unanimous consent, meaning any one senator could block it.

“If a senator objects they should be asked if they believe Americans do not have the constitutional right to exercise the freedom of speech. …Do they support the president’s use of tear gas against people, including families, who are peacefully protesting in a public park?” Schumer asked.

The resolution condemns Trump for “ordering Federal officers to use gas and rubber bullets against the Americans who were peaceably protesting in Lafayette Square in Washington, DC on the night of June 1, 2020, thereby violating the constitutional rights of those peaceful protestors.”  

The National Guard, U.S. Park Police and Secret Service used rubber bullets and tear gas to clear demonstrators from Lafayette Square so that Trump could cross the street to St. John’s Church, which had been set on fire by vandals the night before.

The Washington Post reported that Attorney General William Barr personally ordered for the perimeter near the White House to be extended, pushing protesters away from Lafayette Park.

The decision, law enforcement officials told the publication, was made late Sunday or early Monday, but Barr noticed it had not been completed on Monday afternoon and ordered law enforcement to broaden the perimeter.

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