Without citing evidence, Attorney General William Barr denounced “planned” violence from “far-left extremist groups” in response to many U.S. cities erupting in protest over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Axios reports. President Donald Trump echoed Barr’s statement on Twitter, saying that “‘Crossing State lines to incite violence is a FEDERAL CRIME! Liberal Governors and Mayors need to get tougher on protesters or the federal government will use “the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests.” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said the state believes 80 percent of protesters came from out of state. Mayor Melvin Carter of St. Paul, Minnesota, walked back his original statement on Saturday that everyone arrested during protests in the city was “from out of state,” saying that the arrest data he was shown was inaccurate.
Barr said that “outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda” and that “in many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized and driven by anarchic and left extremist groups, far-left extremist groups, using antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from outside the state to promote the violence.” The Attorney General declared, “It is a federal crime to cross state lines or to use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting, and we will enforce those laws.”