Last week, Attorney General Bill Barr said that there is “evidence” that “antifa and other similar extremist groups” were involved in violent acts during the George Floyd protests.
Barr has now confirmed to Fox News that “focused investigations” are underway that “relate to antifa.”
Asked by Fox News’ Bret Baier if antifa “has leaders,” Barr replied: “It’s a very loosely organized group, and they have an unusual system of communication and organization. There are people who can be characterized as leaders in any given situation.”
“Are there people funding this effort … and are you going after those people?” Baier asked.
“There appear to be sources of funding, and we are looking into the sources of funding,” Barr said. “And, you know, there is clearly some high degree of organization involved at some of these events and and coordinated tactics that we’re seeing. And we’re looking into that as well. And some of it relates to antifa. Some of it relates to groups that act very much like antifa.”
“As I said, there’s a witches’ brew of extremist groups that are trying to exploit this situation on all sides,” Barr added.
Going after lawlessness
Many have been arrested throughout the country for engaging in looting, violence, and destruction of property in connection with the protests. Some of those arrested are believed to be antifa members. In just one example, three “known antifa members” were arrested this week for looting a Target in Austin.
Reports of apparent coordinated attacks have surfaced as well. Speaking of the violence which broke out at protests in San Jose, police chief Eddie Garcia described “a large coordinated attack on officers with flying projectiles thrown by about 30 people.”
“You’ve got sporadic agitators in the crowd. But we have intelligence showing some have hand-held radios,” Garcia said Thursday. “There are levels of sophistication and coordination.” He said that some suspects have been identified but did not say if they were connected to antifa or any other groups.
Liberal groups have already tried to speak up to defend antifa. For instance, when President Trump said on May 31 that he was going to designate antifa as a terrorist organization, the ACLU took up their defense, saying Trump has no legal authority to do so.
In the past, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has also defended antifa, calling them a “courageous group of Americans” in a campaign video, although he has been eerily silent about antifa during the recent rioting and not a single news organization has pressed him on his previous comments about antifa.
Watch part 1 of Barr’s wide-ranging interview with Baier below: