KEY POINTS

  • The U.S. Marshals have been asked to provide law enforcement to protect national monuments
  • This came after the Trump Administration activated the National Guard in the wake of the Juneteenth incident
  • President Donald Trump also plans to sign an executive order "in the next few days" to further protect national monuments 

Ongoing protests that saw demonstrators toppling and vandalizing national monuments have urged the Trump administration to include the services of the U.S. Marshals in their effort to protect these historic statues.

In an email obtained by the Washington Post, Marshals Assistant Director Andrew C. Smith said the service “has been asked to immediately prepare to provide federal law enforcement support to protect national monuments.

In addition, Smith pointed out that the assignment may prove to be “challenging” considering the “breadth of possible targets for criminal activity.”

Police officers guard the statue of former US President Andrew Jackson just outside the White House after protesters tried to topple it Police officers guard the statue of former US President Andrew Jackson just outside the White House after protesters tried to topple it Photo: AFP / Eric BARADAT

The White House is expecting the U.S. Marshals to be the extension of its strong-arm as early as next week. The order came after President Donald Trump publicly said that he would take steps to ensure monuments “aren't torn down” and that those who are caught doing so will “suffer long jail sentences.”

The activation of the U.S. Marshals followed the administration's recent move that called on the National Guard after protesters brought down the only statue of Confederate leader Albert Pike in Washington as they celebrated Juneteenth last Friday (June 19), said the New York Post.

Around 400 D.C. Guard members have been activated and are on standby after Interior Secretary David Bernhardt requested their assistance to protect other historical markers from protesters.

“Since their activation, none of the National Guard members have been dispatched to actual monument locations to provide assistance to the NPP. They remain on standby at the DC Armory at this time. They will support U.S. Park Police at key monuments to prevent any defacing or destruction,” said Fox News, citing a statement from Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Christian Mitchell.

Alongside the National Guard and the U.S. Marshals, CNN said President Trump also plans to sign an executive order “in the next few days” to further expand its protection efforts.

The substance of the order wasn't immediately clear and officials said they are still drafting it, added the network.

Following the failed attempt of protesters to topple down the statue of President Andrew Jackson Monday, President Trump tweeted the next day that he had authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who is caught vandalizing or destroying “any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S.”

The President added that violators may face up to 10 years in prison in accordance with the Veteran's Memorial Preservation Act or “such other laws that may be pertinent,” according to the New York Post in a separate article.