A federal judge threw out charges brought against President Donald Trump over the removal of protesters from Lafayette Square last June on Monday. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich stated the claims made against the defendants were speculative.
The lawsuit was brought against then-President Donald Trump by the ACLU of D.C. on behalf of Black Lives Matter D.C. and other protesters present at the time. It alleged that Trump, Attorney General William Barr, and other members of the cabinet willfully engaged in a violent conspiracy to infringe upon the civil rights of those protesting outside of the White House to benefit the president.
Now: A judge ruled Black Lives Matter DC and others can't sue Trump, Barr, and other federal officials involved in the clearing of Lafayette Square last summer (except to challenge ongoing restrictions to the area); claims against DC + Arlington survive https://t.co/wSnRyaVIkc pic.twitter.com/FblWTSYDoW
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) June 21, 2021
A report from the Office of the Inspector General released on June 9 also exonerated President Trump and some of his cabinet members from accusations of conspiring to violate protesters’ rights to obtain a photo-op of the president in front of St. John’s Church. As it turns out, U.S. Park Police and law enforcement officers had begun to clear the disruptive crowds and install unscalable fences before they even knew the president intended to visit the area.
In his ruling, Judge Friedrich wrote, “Here, the management of possible violence, enforcement of the impending curfew, and policing of demonstrators in Lafayette Square in advance of the President’s travel across the Square generate ‘obvious alternative explanation[s]’ … for the defendants’ communications and activities other than having formed an agreement to violate the plaintiffs’ civil rights.”
A similar suit filed against acting U.S. Park Police Chief Gregory Monahan was also dropped, but Judge Friedrich did allow suits filed against the D.C. Metropolitan and Arlington Police Departments to proceed.
Naturally, the media was unhappy about this refutation of the narrative they had built up accusing the former president of abusive actions towards protesters.
While breaking the news about the Inspector General report used to nullify the lawsuit on June 21, 2021, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd referred to the event as “violent clearing.” Ken Dilanian, an NBC News national security correspondent, added that “This remains an issue of controversy” later in that same episode of Meet the Press.
MSNBC taking heads express disappointment that their fake news about Trump using park police to clear Lafayette Park was debunked pic.twitter.com/eWp82zxwv2
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) June 9, 2021
Influential Democrats also continue to insist that President Trump used federal forces to oppress his constituents. On Tuesday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser went on national television to support the media’s original reports of disproportionate force used by federal authorities to suppress peaceful protesters. She said to Brianna Keilar, host of New Day, “I think you know how I feel about federal law enforcement and the United States military being used for a photo op.”
Not only did members of the mainstream media inaccurately cover the incident as it occurred but they insist on reinforcing their preferred narrative even after it has proven untrue.