President Trump warned rioters and violent anarchists Tuesday morning that their efforts to set up an "autonomous" zone across the street from the White House will not be tolerated and met with force.
There will never be an “Autonomous Zone” in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020
I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020
.....This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020
Numerous people arrested in D.C. for the disgraceful vandalism, in Lafayette Park, of the magnificent Statue of Andrew Jackson, in addition to the exterior defacing of St. John’s Church across the street. 10 years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act. Beware!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020
Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt has also weighed in.
I just left Lafayette Square where another so called “peaceful protest” led to destruction tonight. Let me be clear: we will not bow to anarchists. Law and order will prevail, and justice will be served.— Secretary David Bernhardt (@SecBernhardt) June 23, 2020
Last night anarchists attempted to tear down a statue of President Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park before vandalizing St. John's Church and setting fire in the streets.
St. John’s Church has been vandalized with spray paint reading BHAZ (Black House Autonomous Zone) pic.twitter.com/8D7UITVTK0— Richie??McG?? (@RichieMcGinniss) June 23, 2020
Another fire was started in the street. They told someone with a camera to put it down to stop filming. pic.twitter.com/uAq2HnItTf— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) June 23, 2020
In recent weeks the Department of Justice, led by Attorney General Bill Barr, has handed down a serious indictments and conducted arrests of rioters in a number of cities across the country.
Earlier this month President Trump deployed National Guard troops in Washington D.C. to protect the Lincoln, WWII and other memorials on the National Mall after they were vandalized. After unrest in the city was temporarily quelled, they were sent home.