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24 GOP lawmakers call for FBI investigation into riot funding

Congressman Andy Biggs of Arizona speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo by Gage Skidmore/Released)
September 22, 2020

Two dozen Republican members of Congress signed a letter sent to the FBI on Tuesday calling on the agency to investigate organizations involved in supporting nationwide riots.

The letter, led by Rep. Andy Biggs and provided to American Military News, denounces the violence from riots around the country, and calls for accountability.

“We write to urge you to use every tool available to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate local, state, and national organizations helping to fuel the criminally violent riots,” the letter says.

“Many cities across our country have been rocked by rioters associated with ANTIFA and other organizations. These individuals seem to be using cowardly efforts to commandeer otherwise peaceful protests,” the letter continues. “These actions constitute domestic terrorism and federal charges must be brought against those who are aiding and abetting the criminal actions of these organizations.”

Aside from Biggs, the letter was signed by other members who have publicly denounced violent demonstrations and called on federal agencies to intervene in the destruction. Reps. Ken Buck, Matt Gaetz, Steve King, and Doug Collins are just a few members who have spoken out before and signed onto Biggs’ letter.

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The lawmakers’ letter to the FBI comes less than two weeks after Rep. Ken Buck led a similar letter addressed to Attorney General Bill Barr and the DOJ. That letter, which garnered signatures from 50 lawmakers, urged Barr to investigate and prosecute groups found to be responsible for “funding, organizing, inciting, and participating in the destructive riots taking place in cities across the country.”

Barr has previously stated that extremist groups, including the antifascist movement ANTIFA, were involved in illegal behaviors taking place in demonstrations since late May.

“While many have peacefully expressed their anger and grief, others have hijacked protests to engage in lawlessness, violent rioting, arson, looting of businesses, and public property assaults on law enforcement officers and innocent people, and even the murder of a federal agent. We have evidence that ANITFA and other similar extremist groups, as well as actors of a variety of different political persuasions have been involved in instigating and participating in the violent activity,” Barr said earlier this year.

On Monday, the DOJ fulfilled an order from President Trump and identified three U.S. cities meeting the criteria of “anarchist jurisdictions.” The DOJ found that New York City, N.Y., Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash. allow “anarchy, violence, and destruction” as a result of actions such as ordering law enforcement to stand down, defunding law enforcement, and more.