Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf on Monday said the Department of Justice had launched an investigation into the organization of the violent protests seen across the country in recent months following the deaths of George Floyd and Jacob Blake.
Wolf told Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that it is “absurd” to believe President Donald Trump and his administration are causing the ongoing civil unrest.
“The Department has been at this since early July, particularly in Portland, addressing some of this violent rioting and looting that was occurring in anarchists targeting a federal building in Portland,” Wolf advised.
“I think most reasonable Americans understand what’s going on out there,” he continued. “And really the cause of all this is local officials, state officials not taking this seriously enough from day one. When there’s violence in your community, you need to restore law and order right away. We’ve seen that — it will work. We’ve seen it in Kenosha for several days. It is working. Places like Portland and other places need to take that same advice. They need to bring that law and order back to their streets so that the residents of those cities can feel safe as they go about their business every day.”
Wolf said the Department of Justice is investigating the heads of the organizations and individuals funding the rioters to “move across the country.”
“It’s something I’ve talked to the AG personally about, and I know that they are working on it,” Wolf told Carlson. “Look, we’ve seen about 300 arrests across this country regarding civil unrest and protesting — violent protesting, I would say criminal protesting, criminal rioting. We have got about 300 arrests. About a third of those or a hundred of those arrests have been in Portland specifically. And I know the Department of Justice has charged about 74 or 75 individuals there in Portland with different federal crimes, and we’ll continue to see how those investigations are going. The Department of Justice is also targeting and investigating the head of these organizations, the individuals that are paying for these individuals to move across the country. What we know, Tucker, is that we have seen groups and individuals move from Portland to other parts of the country.”
He added, “We had about 175 arrests in Kenosha, almost a hundred of them were from out of state. So we know they’re moving around. We’ve seen them in DC, in Sacramento and elsewhere. They’re organized. We’ve seen similar tactics being used from Portland and other cities across the country as well. So we know that there’s organization, and I know the Department of Justice is also looking at that as well.”
The investigations are “moving as quickly as possible,” Wolf said, adding that the Trump administration is “committed to holding individuals accountable.”
“The Department of Homeland Security, we’re doing our role,” he advised. “We’re making sure that the investigations that were involved in we’re getting that information over to the Department of Justice to the FBI, to those criminal investigators that are doing their job.”
“But again, this administration, this president is committed to holding individuals accountable. I think, once folks start to realize that if you want to riot, you want to loot, you want to do some of these other criminal acts that we see around this country, there’s going to be consequences for that. And we’re going to — we’re going to continue to move down that road,” Wolf concluded.