Politics

Nancy Pelosi calls on Trump to provide a list of federal agencies involved in policing DC protests

Key Points
  • President Trump and his administration have come under scrutiny for their handling of protests, not just in Washington, but across the country in the wake of George Floyd's death. 
  • One of the issues during the protests has been that security personnel have sometimes not had clear identification showing what agency they're from. 
  • "I am writing to request a full list of the agencies involved and clarifications of the roles and responsibilities of the troops and federal law enforcement resources operating in the city," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called on President Donald Trump to provide a list of federal agencies that have been staffing the effort to police the ongoing protests in the nation's capital. 

Pelosi, in a letter to the president, said she also wanted to know the responsibilities of all the agencies involved in the effort, including the Bureau of Prisons. Some of the unidentified and unmarked personnel have, at times, used force to push protesters out of certain areas of the city. 

"I am writing to request a full list of the agencies involved and clarifications of the roles and responsibilities of the troops and federal law enforcement resources operating in the city," Pelosi wrote. "Congress and the American people need to know who is in charge, what is the chain of command, what is the mission, and by what authority is the National Guard from other states operating in the capital." 

Trump and his administration have come under scrutiny for their handling of protests, not just in Washington, but across the country in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. Nationwide protests erupted last week, after Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after an officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. 

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Trump was blasted by Democrats and some Republicans after federal officers forced out peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square, only to then walk from the White House to nearby St. John's Church for a photo opportunity. 

One of the issues during the protests has been that security personnel have sometimes not had clear identification showing what agency they're from. Beyond the Bureau of Prisons, other groups involved with pushing back the protests include the Secret Service, National Guard and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Attorney General William Barr addressed these concerns at a press conference on Thursday. 

"I could say a number of, out of the federal system, we don't wear badges with our name, the agents don't wear badges and their names and stuff like that, which many civilian police agencies, not federal police agencies do, and I hadn't, I could understand why some of these individuals suddenly wouldn't want to talk to people about who they are. If that was the case," Barr said. 

The attorney general later put out a statement noting many of the organizations involved with acting as security during the protests. 

"We have deployed all the major law-enforcement components of the department in this mission, including the FBI, ATF, DEA, Bureau of Prisons, and U.S. Marshals Service," Barr said. 

The director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons said he didn't know of any prison guard who had been asked to conceal their identity. 

"I'm not aware of any specific Bureau of Prisons personnel being told not to identify themselves. What I attribute that to is probably the fact that we normally operate within the confines of our institution and we don't need to identify ourselves," Michael Carvajal, the head of the Bureau of Prisons, said at the same press conference. 

— CNBC's Amanda Macias contributed to this report.

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