Former Virginia Republican governor Jim Gilmore on Tuesday has raised new questions about current Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s actions before and after the deadly weekend violence that took over Charlottesville and left one woman and two police officers dead.
The public “needs to know” if the state and city had taken the proper precautions to avoid the clashes and if police were told to stand down, said Gilmore, calling for an independent review to determine if politics played a role in what happened.
McAuliffe has already directed state officials to investigate how communities issue rally permits after the city had granted a permit for Saturday’s “Unite the Right” rally. The city allowed white supremacist gatherings to take place in the city, including a torch-bearing march in May and a Ku Klux Klan protest in July. All protests were centered around the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Gilmore dismissed McAuliffe’s internal review, stating that an independent group must be charged with the investigation.
“This has to be an independent review. We have to know what the governor did, how he participated in it, whether he was part of the meetings, whether he had a meeting, whether the secretary of public safety was in the meeting, where it was held, was it in Richmond or Charlottesville, what planning was done, and what constraints if any were put on the police,” said Gilmore, a former Virginia attorney general and county attorney. He is also president of the American Opportunity Foundation, formerly known as the Free Congress Foundation.
“While we support the police, we know they do a good job, we don’t know what direction they got at the time of the Charlottesville riots,” Gilmore pointed out.
Several witnesses have said that the police stood by as people on both sides of the protest literally battled in the street. Others said that when the violence escalated, unprepared police had to leave to get proper equipment.
Gilmore said there was a report that some police were “asked to stand aside and be more passive.”
He said, “They didn’t have a plan to separate these groups. The governor seems to be blaming everybody else.”
Gilmore pointed out that preparation is everything. “You have to have a fore-knowledge of what is ready to happen and a plan in place to be able to deal with it so the police can carry out the plan. In this case, there was no plan, apparently, to divide these people from one to the other. We need to know, we need to be advised as to what action was taken or not taken,” he stated.
In a televised statement Saturday, McAuliffe seemed to blame the fringe white hate groups in attendance for the violence, but he later blamed the ACLU which sued to keep the protest in downtown Charlottesville.
McAuliffe isn’t removed from corrupt matters. During the 2016 presidential race, in a last-ditch move to help his old friend Hillary Clinton get to the White House, McAuliffe pardoned as many as 60,000 convicted felons so they could vote – creating enough new voters to tip an election.
To further encourage the convicted felons to vote, a letter was sent to the released criminals including voter registration forms with pre-paid return postage – a service no other Virginia voters received, reported the Daily Caller.
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