Trump Tasks Fed. Law Enforcement To Arrest DC Vandals, Vows To Block An ‘Autonomous Zone’

After a night of violent protests in Lafayette Park outside of the White House Monday, President Donald Trump is threatening vandals who destroy federal property with “up to 10 years in prison,” he wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

Overnight, vandals sought to topple the Andrew Jackson statue near the White House. The rioters also attempted to establish an autonomous zone outside of St. John’s church, the very building rioters recently torched in the protests that followed the tragic death of George Floyd.

The President said offenders could face up to 10 years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act of 2003. “Whoever, in a circumstance described in subsection (b), willfully injures or destroys, or attempts to injure or destroy, any structure, plaque, statue, or other monument on public property commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.”

The President wrote that the action will be “effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused,” adding that “There will be no exceptions!”