July 23, 2020

In Response to Senator Warren's Request, DOJ Inspector General will Investigate the Role of Attorney General Barr & DOJ Law Enforcement at Protests in Washington, DC and Portland, Oregon

Text of Letter to DOJ IG (PDF)

DOD IG's Response (PDF)

Washington, DC - In response to a June 2, 2020 request from United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) announced today that he will investigate the role of Attorney General William Barr and DOJ law enforcement officers in the "sickening and appalling" attack on peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square in front of the White House. The DOJ IG also told Senator Warren that it has opened an investigation into the role of DOJ law enforcement officers at protests  in Portland, Oregon. 

In her letter to the DOJ IG, Senator Warren wrote: "The role of Attorney General Barr in ordering this attack and then participating in an ugly political propaganda event with the President, and the potential roles of DOJ law enforcement personnel, raises troubling questions about how and why this attack against law-abiding citizens occurred."

Senator Warren asked the DOJ IG to investigate the extent to which DOJ law enforcement personnel were involved in the attack and were or are involved in responding to ongoing protests in other locations in Washington, DC and across the country, and about the specific role Attorney General Barr played in ordering the attack on peaceful protestors at the White House.

In today's letter, Michael Horowitz, the DOJ IG, wrote to Senator Warren:

"(I)n response your request and those from other Members of Congress and the public, the DOJ OIG is initiating a review to examine the DOJ's and its law enforcement components' roles and responsibilities in responding to protest activity and civil unrest in Washington, D.C., and in Portland, Oregon over the prior two months. The review will include examining the training and instruction that was provided to the DOJ law enforcement personnel; compliance with applicable identification requirements, rules of engagement, and legal authorities; and adherence to DOJ policies regarding the use of less-lethal munitions, chemical agents, and other uses of force."