Department Of Justice Fact-Checks & Rebukes Donald Trump


President Donald Trump and his allies have consistently claimed that “Antifa” has been instigating unrest around the United States amidst nationwide protests against police brutality. In fact, “Antifa” is not even a centralized organization, and those who trumpet its supposed dangers should not be taken seriously. NPR reports this week that the Justice Department has not yet identified any sort of connection to “Antifa” in a single one of the 51 individuals’ cases who’ve faced federal charges in connection to the nationwide unrest. Many of the individuals face charges over arson, many of which relate to the targeting of government property like police cars.

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.’

Antifa simply means “anti-fascist.” Technically, U.S. soldiers who fought in World War II against the regimes of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy were antifa. There is no centralized “Antifa” organization, no matter how much self-righteously ignorant fearmongering that the president and his allies like Attorney General Bill Barr indulge in. There is an actual threat from other sources, though — three of the 51 individuals whose cases that NPR reviewed are part of a far-right organization that is seeking to incite a new civil war in the United States. Maybe Bill Barr should worry about that instead of the imaginary bogeyman of Antifa?

During an interview with Fox News that broadcast on Monday, Barr said:

‘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.’

None of that means anything. Barr claims that the Justice Department has “some investigations underway” — what kind of investigations? Are Justice Department employees conducting Google searches for “Antifa” to see what comes up? Are they hiding out in coffee shops to see if they overhear anyone talking about “Antifa”?

Besides, former federal prosecutors noted to NPR that “if the government had indications that an individual had ties to or documented interest in a particular extremist movement, they would likely include it in charging documents to cite it during a bail hearing” — and yet, not a single charging document has so far cited a single link to “Antifa.” The government, by all appearances, has got nothing.

That hasn’t slowed down the Trump team’s confidence that some oh-so-scary secret “Antifa” force is out to get them. This week, President Donald Trump himself tweeted the brazenly ludicrous conspiracy theory that an elderly man who was violently assaulted by police in Buffalo, New York, may be a secret Antifa agitator. There is no evidence for this claim. The president has no idea what he is talking about, although that definitely has not stopped figures like White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany from rushing to the president’s defense anyway, even as evidence stands in clear contrast to the president’s nonsense.