On Sunday, appearing on Fox News’ “America’s News HG” with host Sandra Smith, GOP Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn issued a harsh warning to the instigators and perpetrators of violence and looting across the nation, stating that they should expect “to get a knock on your door from the FBI.”
Smith triggered Blackburn’s remarks by noting that many of the peaceful protests around the nation after the death of George Floyd on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck had turned violent over the last few days. She asked Blackburn for her response, prompting Blackburn to say:
It is heartbreaking to see this, and Sandra, as your previous guest was just saying, the Department of Justice, your state bureaus of investigation, they’re going to figure out who is behind all of this. And I was listening to that interview I was thinking there’s been a lot said about contact tracing to do with coronavirus and contact tracers being hired. Let me tell you something: That is nothing compared to the contact tracing that is going to take place with all of these riots. These people tried to go out the last couple of nights and burn down America, and I will tell you, law enforcement is going to figure out who organized it, who has put this money behind it to give these Antifa members what they need.
So if you’ve been on social media and you’ve been saying “I know friends that went to the protest; I know friends that went to the riots,” you’re probably going to get a knock on your door from the FBI or, in Tennessee, the TBI, and they’re going to want to know what you know.
As Fox News noted, “Tennessee was among the many states which activated the National Guard over the weekend, as California, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Utah and Washington state also called for such assistance while protests spiraled out of control.”
On Saturday, Attorney General William Barr warned that the Department of Justice, including the FBI, would pursue those who crossed state lines to foment violence and looting. He stated:
Unfortunately, with the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful protest are being hijacked by violent radical elements. Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda.
In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized, and driven by anarchistic and far left extremists, using Antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from out of state to promote the violence. We must have law and order on our streets and in our communities, and it is the responsibility of the local and state leadership, in the first instance, to halt this violence. The Department of Justice (including the FBI, Marshals, ATF, and DEA), and all of our 93 U.S. Attorneys across the country, will support these local efforts and take all action necessary to enforce federal law … In that regard, it is a federal crime to cross state lines or to use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting. We will enforce these laws.
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