WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement demanding the Trump Administration provide crucial details about the potential deployments of United States military personnel within the boundaries of the United States:
“At a time when our nation is hurting the President continues to forgo any effort to calm tensions, as we had all hoped he would. Instead he used force to remove peaceful protestors to stage a photo opportunity. Instead of taking a moment of silence in front of the historic St Johns’ Episcopal Church to pray for the lives lost he gathered his cronies to take a picture. Instead of doing the right thing, he once again did the absolute wrong thing.
“I have serious concerns about using military forces to respond to protestors. The role of the U.S. military in domestic U.S. law enforcement is limited by law. It must not be used in violation of those limits and I see little evidence that President Trump understands this fundamental premise.
“I remain gravely concerned about President Trump’s seemingly autocratic rule and how it affects the judgement of our military leadership. I have called for Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, to testify before our committee to explain this domestic engagement to the American people. The fate of our democracy depends on how we navigate this time of crisis.”