During a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, entitled “The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence”, Chairman Ted Cruz (R-TX) leveled Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) after she claimed that protesters were “beaten up by unidentifiable federal agents”, and played a video that alleged police officers were “unidentifiable”.
Senator Cruz began his opening remarks by explaining how protests across the country after George Floyd’s death, “were soon hijacked by opportunists and violent radicals”, going into detail of how police officers were injured by rioters across the country. He ended his opening remarks by playing a short video clip to see “what is directly occurring” amid the protests.
Senator Ted Cruz’s video clip that he played during his opening remarks:
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 4, 2020
Following Senator Ted Cruz’s opening, Senator Mazie Hirono gave her opening and claimed that protesters were “beaten up by unidentifiable federal agents”.
“The federal response has used violence and excessive force to break up these protests,” Hirono said of “peaceful protesters”, adding that “suddenly Attorney Gereral Barr used chemical gas, pattons, rubber bullets, riot shields, and flash bang grenades to forcibly disperse the protesters and clear the area”.
She claimed “there was no anarchist violence in Layfette Square” near the White House in June, saying that the only ones using force were “federal law enforcement agents”. Continued Below
Hirono brought Portland, Oregon, alleging that “federal agents used excessive and indiscriminate force to break up people to gather peacefully protest”.
“On July 4, unidentified federal agents arrived in outfitted as if for war, wearing camouflage and heavy gear,” the Hawaiian Senator asserted. “To justify this unnecessary deployment of federal officers, President Trump and his administration have repeatedly portrayed Portland protesters as violent anarchists and members of Antifa. But in the past four weeks, what we have actually seen are federal agents beating up nonviolent protesters, tear-gassing them, and shooting them with rubber bullets and other so-called less lethal emissions,” she said.
“… By only focusing anarchist violence, this committee is furthering President Trump’s efforts to distract us from the underlying issues that that millions … of protesters have been calling on us to address: the systemic racial injustice in our country. President Trump is deliberately trying to undermine the massive protests for racial justice by dismissing them as anarchists and Antifa. To perpetuate this narrative, President Trump has ignored factual evidence showing that white supremacists have hijacked peaceful protests to incite violence and stoke racial conflict, such as in Minneapolis… while anti-fascist have killed no one in politically motivated attacks,” Hirono claimed.
The Democratic Senator then proceeded to show her own video clip for the committee, appearing to make federal agents look “unidentified” and using force without reason. Continued Below
Senator Cruz leveled Hirono after the video that she played for the committee, saying: “At the end of that video, that as narrated, it describes law enforcement officers as ‘unidentified’ while the video shows them with the words ‘POLICE’ in bright yellow all-caps across their chest.”
“So that is a curious way to describe a law enforcement officer as ‘unidentified’. I would also note that the ranking member said that nobody is condoning the violence in rioting, and yet, nowhere in the opening remarks, was even one word condemning it– condemning the assaults, condemning the 277 injuries that federal law enforcement officers have suffered,” he added.
Sen. @TedCruz critiques Sen. Mazie Hirono's video: "At the end of that video, that as narrated it describes law enforcement officers as 'unidentified' while the video shows them with the words 'POLICE' in bright yellow all-caps across their chest." pic.twitter.com/NHQ5Ky6TsW
— The Hill (@thehill) August 4, 2020
Senator Cruz’s full opening remarks:
Senator Mazie Hirono’s remarks:
Sen. Mazie Hirono: "President Trump has ignored factual evidence showing that white supremacists have hijacked peaceful protests to incite violence and stoke racial conflict, such as in Minneapolis." pic.twitter.com/VnZw8bQQug
— The Hill (@thehill) August 4, 2020
Senator Cruz on “secret police”:
.@TedCruz: "Mr. Cuccinelli, do you deploy 'secret police,'
does DHS send 'secret police' out into the world and is that what's happening in Portland?"@HomelandKen: "We have no troops, we have no secret police." pic.twitter.com/Q8Kpnvu1Wa
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) August 4, 2020
It's extremely negative and hyperbolic libel to call our law enforcement "storm troopers" and "Gestapo."
Our law enforcement officers are executing their duty courageously and professionally. pic.twitter.com/DIeQQ2eGyU
— Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli (@HomelandKen) August 4, 2020
It is worth noting, Senator Hirono later declined to condemn Antifa:
Wow. Antifa apologist senator Mazie Hirono just walked out of the senate after refusing to denounce Antifa!pic.twitter.com/BfmK38H8Rm
— Barrett Wilson (@BarrettWilson6) August 4, 2020