Then-President Donald Trump holds up a Bible in front of St. Johnís Church after walking across Lafayette Park from the White House on June 1, 2020.(Photo by AFP)
An official report showed the federal police has cleared protesters from Lafayette Park on June 01, 2020, to put up fencing and not to enable former President Donald Trumpís photo op at St. Johnís Church.
According to a report published by Interior Department Inspector General Mark Lee Greenblatt, until hours after they had begun the operation for the security fencing, the law enforcement officials didnít know anything about Trumpís plans to walk through the park and examine damage from a fire at St. Johnís Episcopal Church.
"The evidence we obtained did not support a finding that the USPP cleared the park to allow the President to survey the damage and walk to St. Johnís Church," the report said. "Instead, the evidence we reviewed showed that the USPP cleared the park to allow the contractor to safely install the antiscale fencing in response to destruction of property and injury to officers occurring on May 30 and 31."
On the evening of June 1, 2020, the US media reported that the federal police clashed with peaceful protesters, who had filled the park in the wake of George Floydís killing, to drove them out of the area so that Trump could walk to St. Johnís Church and pose briefly with a Bible.
Declaring himself "your president of law and order," Trump vowed on the same day to return order to American streets using the military if the protests continue.
Trumpís Bible-toting stunt sparked outrage among several US lawmakers and religious leaders, including the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, Mariann Budde, who said Trump had held up The Bible in front of the church under her watch "as if it were a prop or an extension of his military and authoritarian position."