Verification of facts of Trump’s statements about vandals of statues

This is not the first time that Trump has threatened a prison sentence for people who vandalize statues. On June 23, Trump claimed that he had “authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who smashed or destroyed any monument, statue … with up to 10 years in prison, under the Veterans Monument Preservation Act or other laws that may be relevant. “

So what did Trump really do? Did you “authorize” the federal government to arrest those who vandalize these statues?

Facts First: Trump’s actions have simply ordered the attorney general to enforce existing laws. They do not create new laws or possible prison terms.

Trump issued an executive order on June 26 to, among other things, order the attorney general to “prioritize” the investigation and prosecution of certain vandalism cases, especially memorials and memorials of US veterans, in accordance with “applicable law “
One of the laws cited in the order is the “destruction of government property” that carries a “potential fine of up to $ 250,000, ten years in prison, or both” if the intentional damage to government property exceeds $ 100. Law has existed since 1964.
Trump also cited the Veterans Memorial Preservation Act, passed in 2003, which carries a fine and / or imprisonment of up to 10 years for those convicted of vandalizing or destroying monuments, plaques, statues, or other property “that commemorate the service of anyone. or people in the United States military. “

These laws have been on the books for many years. Trump has not recently authorized the Justice Department to pursue these cases, but has ordered the attorney general to prioritize them.


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