Ever since the protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers began, both President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr have alleged that anti-fascist activists — aka Antifa — have been engaging in violence, looting, and other criminal behavior.
But a review of documents from the Department of Justice (DOJ) shows absolutely no link between any anti-fascist groups and those protesting police brutality across the United States, NPR reports:
“NPR has reviewed court documents of 51 individuals facing federal charges in connection with the unrest. As of Tuesday morning, none is alleged to have links to the antifa movement.
“Of the cases brought so far, 20 involve allegations related to arson; 16 involve the illegal possession of a firearm, more often than not by a felon; another eight people face charges related to inciting a riot or civil disorder.”
The only time an extremist group is mentioned in the DOJ documents is in connection with three Nevada men arrested who are allegedly connected to the Boogaloo movement, which is dedicated to inciting a civil war. The three were charged with plotting acts of violence against demonstrators in Las Vegas.
Yet despite the DOJ not finding a shred of evidence connecting Antifa to the protests, the attorney general doubled down on his claims, telling Fox News host Bret Baier:
“We have some investigations underway, very focused investigations on certain individuals that relate to antifa. But in the initial phase of identifying people and arresting them, they were arrested for crimes that don’t require us to identify a particular group or don’t necessitate that.”
However, some former federal prosecutors weren’t buying Barr’s assertion, noting that if federal law enforcement agencies had any proof that a person in custody belonged to a violent, organized group, that would be included in the charging documents for the purposes of possibly denying bail to a suspect.
FBI Director Chris Wray has also sounded skeptical of an organized anti-fascist movement, saying in sworn Congressional testimony that Antifa is “more of an ideology than an organization,” and that the FBI doesn’t investigate ideology and focuses instead on violence.
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