Antifa, the far-left militant movement that calls itself "antifascist," is “very real” and “very dangerous,” House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told “Fox News @Night” on Monday.
Jordan made the remark in reaction to a comment made by committee chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler over the weekend.
On Sunday, Nadler, D-N.Y., was heard on camera saying that Antifa in Portland, Ore., which has experienced 60 consecutive nights of protests and violence, is “a myth that is being spread only in Washington, D.C.”
“It’s scary that Jerry Nadler says that, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, the committee that’s supposed to look out for the rule of law, the committee that’s supposed to be concerned about the Constitution and protecting basic rights and liberties,” Jordan said in response to Nadler’s statement.
“Antifa, a terrorist organization, is anything but a myth.”
Antifa has no defined organizational hierarchy or membership process. The collection of autonomous Antifa groups in mostly left-wing cities sees itself as a descendant of the European anti-Nazi movements, and generally agrees that the best way to combat ideas they find odious is not through speech or debate, but by direct action and physical confrontation.
The announcement came as Trump has blamed Antifa for riots taking place across the country in response to the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died May 25 while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minn., after an officer kneeled on his neck for more than 8 minutes in an incident caught on video.
“Remember, it was just three-and-a-half weeks ago when Mr. Nadler [was] on the House floor to debate with us [and he] said Antifa is imaginary, so at least he’s consistent,” Jordan said on Monday. “He’s consistently wrong about this terrorist organization that President Trump has rightly called a terrorist organization.”
Jordan then pointed to some of the violence that has taken place in Portland.
Fox 12 in Portland – citing the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon – reported that 22 people were arrested and are facing federal charges for their roles in protests over the weekend at the federal courthouse in Portland.
The television station reported that court documents show that protests since May 26 have been followed by nightly criminal activity, including assaults on law enforcement officers, destruction of property, looting and arson.
Last week, at least three federal officers in Portland may not recover their vision, after demonstrators, who have shown up in crowds of over 1,000 for several nights, shined lasers in their eyes and threw fireworks at a federal courthouse, officials said.
“Go tell the officers who’ve been blinded, the officer’s who’ve been attacked, ask them if Antifa’s a myth or an imaginary organization,” Jordan said on Monday.
“Ask Andy Ngo, the journalist who was attacked in Portland over a year ago, if they are an imaginary organization or some kind of myth,” Jordan continued.
Ngo is a conservative writer who was publicly beaten during a rally in Portland and said he suffered a brain injury during the assault, according to Oregon Live.
“They are very real, they are very dangerous,” Jordan said, adding that Attorney General Bill Barr “knows it.”
“That’s one other reason why the Democrats are out to get William Barr because he’s calling it accurately and truthfully,” Jordan continued.
Barr is scheduled to appear before the House Judiciary Committee for the first time Tuesday, where he plans to take no prisoners as he will strongly condemn the “grave abuses” in the “bogus Russiagate scandal,” while also highlighting Black-on-Black violence and defend law enforcement officers, a transcript of his prepared remarks obtained by Fox News Monday night said.
Host Shannon Bream noted that Democrats told Fox News that “they plan to grill him on everything from the crackdown on protesters outside the White House to why the Feds are getting involved in local protests and even the Mueller report.”
Fox News’ Gregg Re, Danielle Wallace and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.