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United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks during the 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil to memorialize fallen officers on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., May 13, 2018. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Photo by Glenn Fawcett

Elections

Sessions says those who deface monuments are “thugs” and “criminals”

Former U.S. Senator and current GOP Senate candidate Jeff Sessions expressed his support of President Donald Trump’s decision to use the Department of Justice to prosecute protestors who deface monuments.

“We MUST protect America’s history!” Sessions said on social media. “Those who physically attack our monuments to American heroes & veterans are thugs, criminals, and vandals. In America, we LEARN from our history, we don’t erase it. And we DON’T allow mob rule.”

“President Donald J. Trump is right to call for the Department of Justice to prosecute these criminals,” Sessions continued. “What the mobs are doing to our history and our monuments is not only ridiculous, it’s illegal. The Department of Justice has authority to act and it should do so to restore the rule of law!”

“My friend, Senator Tom Cotton is right: Under the 2003 Veterans’ Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act, criminal mobs toppling statues of our veterans earn up to 10 years in federal prison,” Sessions concluded. “We are a nation of laws, not a nation of mobs — criminals who attack our monuments deserve to face justice.”

Following the defacement of a monument of President Andrew Jackson in Washington D.C. Trump has ordered the National Guard to send unarmed personnel to monuments and memorials around Washington to help U.S. Park Police protect them. The U.S. Marshals service has been informed that they have been tasked with protecting monuments in all 50 states from organized attacks by people intent on vandalism.

“I think many of the people that are knocking down the statues don’t even have any idea what the statue is, what it means, who it is when they knocked down,” Trump said after the toppling of a bust of Union General and former President Ulysses S. Grant. “Now they are looking at Jesus Christ, they are looking at George Washington, they’re looking at Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson. Not going to happen, not going to happen while I’m here.”

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CNN is reporting that 100 National Guard troops could be deployed to Washington as early as Friday with that force eventually increased to 400.

Sessions is running in the July 14 Republican primary runoff against former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville. The eventual Republican nominee will face incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, in the Nov. 3 general election.

Brandon Moseley
Written By

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.