In the wake of violent riots and looting in cities nationwide, after the death of George Floyd, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers are largely silent as cities see mass vandalism. President Trump denounced the violence, and deemed ANTIFA, a group spearheading the violence and looting, as a terrorist organization.
The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
While there is a bipartisan push for the president to address the nation directly, Sen. Tom Cotton is pushing President Trump to use the Insurrection Act. If enacted, active-duty military would be deployed to combat violence and assist law enforcement officers; the Insurrection Act gives the president discretion to employ the military as he sees fit, to suppress rebellions, bring back public order and enforce the law of the land. The Insurrection Act is intended to be used when "domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order."
“There are a lot of tools that the president and the Department of Justice has in their tool kit, from the Insurrection Act to the Explosives Act, to the Riot Act that can be used to stop this anarchy,” Sen. Cotton said on Fox News. “The video of George Floyd’s death is deeply disturbing. I welcome the quick action by local authorities and the Department of Justice to investigate, to get the facts, and to do justice for George Floyd in accordance with law. We always respect the rights of peaceful protesters, but anarchy, rioting and looting, we have zero tolerance for that. And it needs to end tonight.”
Anarchy, rioting, and looting needs to end tonight.— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) June 1, 2020
If local law enforcement is overwhelmed and needs backup, let's see how tough these Antifa terrorists are when they're facing off with the 101st Airborne Division.
We need to have zero tolerance for this destruction.
And, if necessary, the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, 1st Cav, 3rd Infantry—whatever it takes to restore order. No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters. https://t.co/OnNJmnDrYM— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) June 1, 2020
President Trump has not yet indicated what action he intends to take to deal with the mass acts of violence in cities nationwide, but seemed to agree with Sen. Cotton.
100% Correct. Thank you Tom! https://t.co/axdLX7kGNn— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2020
The Washington Post reported that the use of the Insurrection Act is not yet under consideration, despite the president's apparent agreement:
“No one in the department is talking about invoking the Insurrection Act,” a senior defense official told me on Saturday morning.— Dan Lamothe (@DanLamothe) June 1, 2020
The Pentagon has sought to provide what governors request. Also have considered what active-duty might do short of the Insurrection Act. https://t.co/cTtDa6Lq9q
The president also called out the rioters on Twitter:
Anarchists, we see you! pic.twitter.com/ov1dMLu4Eg— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2020