Investigation finds Lafayette Park was not cleared for Trump photo op

Another common media narrative disparaging former President Donald Trump has been debunked.

This time, an investigation by the Department of Interior’s inspector general found that Trump did not order federal law enforcement to use force in clearing Lafayette Square last June so he could pose for a photo at an adjacent church.

“Destruction of property”

According to the Washington Examiner, the report determined that U.S. Park Police and Secret Service officials planned to clear the park earlier in the day to allow a contractor to install additional security fencing.

That decision came in response to the destructive and violent protest that took place at the location over the previous night.

Inspector General Mark Lee Greenblatt reviewed the actions and issued his findings in a 41-page report released on Wednesday. He concluded that clearing the park had nothing to do with Trump or his plans to pose for photos in front of St. John’s church on June 1, 2020.

“The evidence we obtained did not support a finding that the USPP cleared the park to allow the President to survey the damage and walk to St. John’s Church,” the report affirmed. “Instead, the evidence we reviewed showed that the USPP cleared the park to allow the contractor to safely install the antiscale fencing in response to destruction of property and injury to officers occurring on May 30 and 31.”

Furthermore, the inspector general found that the agency was unaware of Trump’s decision to visit the church until “hours after it had begun developing its operational plan and the fencing contractor had arrived in the park.”

“The ones who spread disinformation”

The report included documentation of the events leading up to and during the date in question, specifically the protests that motivated authorities to clear the area in the first place.

In fact, the investigation uncovered evidence that the USPP and Secret Service begun discussing the installation of security fencing in and around the park as early as May 30 and began to formulate a plan of action early on the morning of June 1.

Even progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald responded to the news by excoriating those in the media who circulated a now-debunked narrative.

In a recent Substack post, he included numerous examples of supposedly unbiased journalists promoting the allegation that Trump authorized a disproportionate show of force against peaceful protesters near the White House.

“Over and over we see the central truth: the corporate outlets that most loudly and shrilly denounce ‘disinformation’ — to the point of demanding online censorship and de-platforming in the name of combating it — are, in fact, the ones who spread disinformation most frequently and destructively,” Greenwald wrote.

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