by WorldTribune Staff, July 2, 2020
The man who allegedly was the “ringleader” in the recent attempt to destroy the statue of President Andrew Jackson in Washington, D.C. has connections to Antifa, federal law enforcement officials said.
Jason Charter was arrested on Thursday morning and charged with destruction of federal property. He was arrested by the FBI and U.S. Park Police as part of a joint task force.
Charter was in a leadership role on the night of June 22 when a large group of rioters tried to pull down the statue in Lafayette Square near the White House, authorities said.
“They were very organized,” a federal law enforcement official said. “Charter was on top of the statue and directing people … they had acid, chisels, straps and a human chain preventing police from getting to the statue.”
Graham Lloyd, of Portland, Maine, turned himself in for similar charges relating to the attempt to destroy the Jackson statue. Lloyd is also accused of destruction of federal property.
A magistrate judge in Maine has transferred Lloyd’s case to federal court in D.C.
The arrests come in the wake of the June 24 executive order signed by President Donald Trump intended to protect monuments and statues.
Trump tweeted: “I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials and Statues- and combating recent Criminal Violence. Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country.”
The complaint against Charter says, “At the Jackson Statue incident, Charter is additionally seen wearing a red set of ski goggles and a yellow ventilator mask. Charter’s face is clearly visible at different times during each incident.”
The complaint also cites a tweet from a Twitter account with the name Jason Charter that says, “Tearing down statues of traitors to the nation is a service to this nation not a crime.”
According to the complaint, Charter also participated in a June 26 protest in D.C. where demonstrators were calling for the removal of a statue of Abraham Lincoln. He also is “alleged to have assaulted” an individual who later filed an assault report with police.
The FBI alleges that Charter was also involved in the destruction of the Albert Pike Historical Statue in Washington last month.
Citing local news video, the FBI alleges that Charter is seen “standing over the toppled Pike Statue, pouring an unknown liquid onto the statue. He is then observed waving others away from the statue, and squatting down behind the statue where his hands are not visible. Seconds later, the statue catches fire. Charter is seen standing over the flames as it burns.”