President Donald Trump recently threatened protesters defacing and toppling statues with up to 10 years of jail time thanks to an obscure law aimed at punishing vandalism in American veteran cemeteries.
The law, known as the Veterans Memorial Preservation Act, allows for fines and a prison term of up to 10 years for “attempts to injure or destroy, any structure, plaque, statue, or other monument on public property commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States,” reported Military Times.
…..This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020
Although the President brought this little-known law to public attention, no presidential authorization is necessary for its enforcement.
White House officials say that the president plans to sign an executive order providing additional protections for statues on federal lands.