Gerry Connolly, Democratic chairman, says Donald Trump made Secret Service ‘a tool of fascism’

The chairman of the House oversight subcommittee on government operations demanded Tuesday that the Secret Service explain its actions in clearing protesters from near the White House the night before, saying the agency “is not a tool of fascism.”

Rep. Gerry Connolly, Virginia Democrat, said he wanted to see all the communications about the clearing of Lafayette Park, which was emptied of protesters so President Trump could walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was damaged in rioting over the weekend.

Mr. Connolly also said he wanted to know what the Secret Service’s policies are on refusing orders of the president when they “violate the constitutional rights of Americans.”

“While the Secret Service is tasked with protecting the president of the United States, it is not a tool of fascism, and the conduct and operations of the Secret Service cannot be allowed to infringe upon the constitutional rights of the American people for the purposes of serving the president’s personal vanity,” Mr. Connolly said.

The District of Columbia imposed a 7 p.m. curfew Monday, but the Secret Service cleared the protesters well before that time using less-than-lethal methods, just ahead of Mr. Trump’s walk from the White House, across the park, to the outside of the church.

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