Weeks after he received a resounding vindication in the court of public opinion, former President Donald Trump was exonerated once again in the so-called Lafayette Square incident, this time by a federal judge.
U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich dismissed claims for damages against Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr, and other former federal officials over the clearing of protesters from the Square, and denied a request for injunctive relief, the Washington Examiner reported.
Among the plaintiffs was Black Lives Matter (BLM), with the activist group accusing Trump of hatching a “conspiracy” that “targeted black people and their supporters”, but Friedrich, a Trump appointee, said the plaintiffs had not “plausibly alleged” such a conspiracy existed.
Judge dismisses claims against Trump
She also argued that other explanations for the clearing of protesters besides conspiracy are plausible, such as the “management of possible violence, enforcement of the impending curfew, and policing of demonstrators in Lafayette Square in advance of the President’s travel across the Square.”
Friedrich also refused to grant a cause of action under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, arguing that relevant national security concerns existed during the protest that weighed against the plaintiffs’ request.
“When it comes to presidential security specifically, the presence of a large crowd of protesters, even a peaceful one, near the president implicates presidential security questions,” the judge wrote.
In another blow, Friedrich refused to grant injunctive relief for alleged violations of civil rights, saying the plaintiffs failed to show that they were in immediate danger of future harm, making the request “too speculative.”
Lafayette Square narrative implodes
Friedrich also found that the plaintiffs have standing to challenge restricted access to Lafayette Square, adding that she believes it is plausible that Washington, D.C., and Arlington County, Virginia violated their First Amendment rights.
She concluded that it is “premature for the Court to draw any conclusions about why Lafayette Square was cleared on June 1 or whether the law enforcement officers’ actions were justified.”
The ruling comes weeks after the media’s aggressively politicized narrative on the protest began to unravel, leaving Trump to claim “total exoneration.”
While the notion of a “conspiracy targeting black people” is fanciful enough, the plaintiffs also repeated the absurdly over-wrought media narrative that Trump personally directed protesters to be cleared for a “photo-op” outside of a historic church, where he held up a Bible, according to Politico.
The Interior Department found earlier this June that protesters were cleared for the construction of anti-scale fencing. At the time, Washington D.C. was besieged by left-wing vandals who had partially burned the historic church the previous night.