GOP senator calls for prison sentences for pro-Hamas mob that defaced D.C. statues

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is looking for stronger punishment for “pro-Hamas lunatics” and anyone caught defacing or vandalizing statues on federal property.

The Saving Treasured Artifacts Through Uniform Enforcement (STATUE) Act was introduced by the Arkansas Republican on Thursday in the wake of a pro-Hamas rally in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Square, where statues were vandalized by demonstrators protesting President Joe Biden’s policy on Israel’s war in Gaza.

Cotton’s bill, which is being co-sponsored by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), looks to enforce mandatory minimum prison sentences on those marring the statues and bans anyone from attempting “to injure or destroy, a structure, plaque, statue, or other monument on public property.”

The bill would “Impose a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment and a $1,000 fine or a fine equal to the amount of damage to the property, whichever is greater,” according to a press release.

It would also amend the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act “so that it applies to all monuments or property under the jurisdiction of the federal government.”

“Any protestor who defaces statues of America’s heroes must face the full extent of the law,” Cotton said in a statement to Fox News Digital.

“As Joe Biden seeks to appease the pro-Hamas wing of the Democratic Party, it’s clear his administration won’t do anything to punish the protestors who defaced the area around the White House recently,” he added. “The Senate should take up my legislation to punish these pro-Hamas lunatics.”

Demonstrators converged on the White House over the weekend, defacing structures in the park with messages such as “free Gaza” and “free Palestine,” as well as “Death to AmeriKKKa” and  “Long live Hamas.”

(Video Credit: Fox Business)

“A handful of protesters wore green headbands that appeared to be similar to those worn by members of Hamas,” NBC News reported on the demonstration.

“One protester wearing the headband said that it was ‘Hamas’ one,’ though the protester said he does not speak Arabic and was not sure what it said. When asked if he supported Hamas, the protester, who would not give his name, said that he ‘wouldn’t say supporter, I would say maybe sympathizer.'”

Multiple statues and structures were vandalized during the event, including that of President Jackson riding a horse and Comte de Rochambeau, a commander in the French army.

Cotton demanded the Justice Department investigate the anti-Israel demonstrators.

“Anti-American, pro-Hamas thugs desecrated the statues of our veterans literally across the street from the White House, a blatant violation of federal law. On video,” he wrote in a post on X. “I expect the Department of Justice to use every technique against them that it used against grandmas in MAGA hats on Jan. 6. And if it doesn’t now, it will next year.”

Frieda Powers

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