President Trump has already shown his Orwellian tendencies by giving a speech on Monday in the Rose Garden in which he declared his “respect” for peaceful protesters at the very moment that forces ultimately responding to an order by Trump violently attacked peaceful protesters in front of the White House to remove them from Lafayette Square, as well as priests and parishioners from the patio of their St. John’s Church across from the White House. This attack and removal of the protesters as well as church people allowed Trump to walk across the square fot photo op at the church, holding up a Bible backwards and upside down. While it has been admitted that ultimately this attack reflected Trump wanting to have this photo op, it remains unclear precisely which federal forces were part of the attack and exactly who was immediately commanding them. It seems at a minimum that this involved federal Park Police, but may have included DC National Guard, and maybe Secret service personnel, as well as maybe others, although no DC police or officials, with Mayor Bowswe opposing this action.
Most seem to think that AG Barr gave the immediate order, but he does not seem to official authority over several of these groups, notably the Secret Service. SecDef Esper and Chief of Staff Gen. Milley were present during Trump’s walk across the square, but are now apparently claiming not to have any responsibility for this. Esper and Milley have since come under strong criticism by many people either in the GOP such as the Lincoln Project group as well as current and former high DOD officials, including James Miller who publicly resigned from the DOD Science Board in protest as well as a strong memo by former SecDef “Mad Dog” Mattis.