According to a memo obtained by The Washington Post, Attorney General William Barr has created a task force to take on “anti-government extremists” who have “engaged in indefensible acts of violence designed to undermine public order,” a response to “the violence that has sometimes marked nationwide protests against police brutality and racism.”
“Among other lawless conduct, these extremists have violently attacked police officers and other government officials, destroyed public and private property, and threatened innocent people,” Barr wrote. “Although these extremists profess a variety of ideologies, they are united in their opposition to the core constitutional values of a democratic society governed by law. . . . Some pretend to profess a message of freedom and progress, but they are in fact forces of anarchy, destruction, and coercion.”
The memo isn’t too specific, though Barr did single out the right-wing group “Boogaloo” and its supporters, as well as “those who self identify as Antifa,”––or antifacists––an organization that doesn’t actually exist. Barr wrote that “Some of these violent extremists, moreover, may be fortified by foreign entities seeking to sow chaos and disorder in our country.”
“The ultimate goal of the task force will be not only to enable prosecutions of extremists who engage in violence, but to understand these groups well enough that we can stop such violence before it occurs and ultimately eliminate it as a threat to public safety and the rule of law,” Barr wrote.
The new task force will be spearheaded by Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, and Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas. It would also include representatives from the FBI as well as federal prosecutors.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.