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Several House Republicans are asking for hearings into violence directed at supporters of President Donald Trump, many of whom were seen in videos posted online being attacked by Black Lives Matter and Antifa supporters after attending the “Million MAGA March” last weekend.
In addition, top Republicans on the House Oversight Committee want explanations from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser after her “silence” on the incidents, claiming that it’s part of a “broader pattern of viewpoint discrimination,” Fox News reported.
The letter to committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), along with Reps. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), and Chip Roy (R-Texas) comes after more than 20 people were arrested following alleged acts of violence between Trump supporters and counter-demonstrators on Saturday.
“We respectfully request a hearing on the violence directed at supporters of President Trump on November 14, 2020,” the letter to Maloney says. “These supporters were exercising their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble within the District of Columbia.
“The failure of the city’s leaders to afford basic protections to persons who may hold different political viewpoints from their own appears to be another concerning example of viewpoint discrimination in the District,” the lawmakers added.
Tens of thousands of President Trump’s supporters descended upon the nation’s capital over the weekend, marching and demonstrating peacefully to express concerns over reports of alleged election fraud and voting irregularities.
But the peace was broken on a number of occasions after the rally ended, with small groups or individual Trump supporters were set upon by BLM counter-protesters.
The attacks drew the attention of President Trump, who blasted them as well as Bowser.
“Radical Left ANTIFA SCUM was easily rebuffed today by the big D.C. MAGA Rally crowd, only to return at night, after 99% of the crowd had left, to assault elderly people and families. Police got there, but late. Mayor is not doing her job!” Trump wrote Saturday.
Videos showed Trump supporters having their hats and flags stolen and burned, while others were doused with liquids. Some were sucker-punched.
“Despite the violence, the mainstream media and liberal establishment were quick to minimize the seriousness of the use of violence against Trump supporters by deriding them for failing to wear masks in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and asserting that they were infiltrated by ‘white nationalists, conspiracy theorists, and far right activists,’” the GOP lawmakers wrote.
Two police officers were injured and a number of firearms were confiscated by police as well.
“City leaders have remained silent on the violence,” they continued. “This growing level of violence directed at others for holding different views is simply unacceptable.”
In a separate letter to Bowser, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), along with Roy, Vice, and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), asked for information as to how her office planned to engage with city police to “ensure the safety of those who seek to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights within the District.”
“These brazen attacks are part of a continuing trend against leftist agitators perpetrating acts of violence against individuals in the District under your watch,” they wrote. “The right to peacefully assemble in our nation’s capital under the First Amendment is paramount.
“This is true regardless of who is doing the protesting or the popularity or unpopularity of their cause,” the lawmakers continued, noting that her “silence” after the attacks “suggests you apply these principles only for those who share your same political opinions.”
“The violence of November 14 is disturbing, and it is clear that the District must act to ensure it is never repeated,” they wrote, claiming that leaders in the nation’s capital have “consistently failed to meet” basic protections for “any group exercising their right to peacefully assemble—no matter their viewpoints.”
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