Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Tuesday during a Senate hearing called out left-wing domestic violence over the summer amid an apparent attempt by Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) to use the January 6th Capitol breach to tie the political right to domestic extremism.
Grassley said he agreed that the violence at the Capitol on January 6th was a “desecration” that “disgraced our country,” and he called for those who broke the law that day to be prosecuted.
However, he said, to fully address domestic extremism, threats must be looked at across the political spectrum. “A narrow view of these matters would be intellectually dishonest,” he said in response to Durbin’s opening remarks at the hearing, which was on oversight of the FBI.
Grassley then called out violence coming from the left, the media not covering it, and its encouragement by then-senator and now-Vice President Kamala Harris.
We must call extremism wherever it happens, across the board, left or right, every time. We must focus our resources to try to see as much of it coming as we possibly can, wherever it comes from.
It hardly registered in the media when Marshals and Secret Service officers defended courthouses and the White House. That’s not Senator Durbin’s fault. That’s the media’s fault. They were called storm troopers by the speaker of the House, like they aren’t even human beings.
Vice President Harris, when she was a senator, supported the Minnesota Freedom Fund, an organization that helped bail out violent rioters in Minnesota. Thirteen staffers of a candidate for president at that time boasted on Twitter that they donated to the group. According to one news report, the group paid $75,000 to get one man out of jail when he was charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting at a police officer during the May protests.
He noted that innocent law enforcement officers were targeted over the summer, with more than 700 officers injured between May 27, 2020, and June 8, 2020.
“Officers have been assaulted, slashed, struck with hammers, baseball bats. and blinded by lasers. Sixty-seven Secret Service officers were injured during a 3-day siege on the White House, which caused then President Trump to be brought into a secure bunker,” he said.
He also recalled when Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and his wife were surrounded and harassed as they were leaving the White House last summer:
We also remember on television seeing our colleague from Kentucky having a hard time getting to the White House when he wanted to go there sometime last summer. We also had the church across the street was lit on fire, across the street from the White House, as part of that continued left-wing assault. More than 300 people were charged federally for their roles in those months of violence.
Eighty of those charged related to the use of arson and explosives. At least 14,000 people were arrested in 49 cities. At least 25 people died in violence related to the riots. There has been 280 arrests as a result of the January 6th attack compared to more than 1,000 arrests as a result of riots just in Portland last year. It’s been estimated that insurance losses of the summer’s civil unrest possibly exceeded $2 billion.
Grassley also called out Antifa:
It’s been a relatively frequent sight at summer’s violence events to see individuals acting in coordination, holding the ‘A’ symbol for Antifa. And as I said before, I don’t disagree with anything I heard Senator Durbin say this morning, but we did have an admitted Antifa adherent in Portland murder a conservative protester.
He noted that Antifa rioters attacked the Oregon Democratic Party headquarters, even after Inauguration Day.
He also raised the left-wing shooting targeting 24 Republicans on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, that left Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) with a life-threatening injury at the time.
“In light of these ever present left-wing threats, I’m concerned about resource shifting talk among our colleagues across the aisle. Let me say this clearly, we aren’t going to defund the Anarchist Extremism Program or any other domestic terrorism program,” Grassley said.
“No serious oversight activity and no other policy decisions can be made without doing both as we move forward. I encourage both houses of Congress to re–review not just the events of January 6th, but also domestic violent extremism across the board and the threat it brings to our families and communities,” he said.