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Trump walking back to the White House after standing for photos outside St John's Episcopal church across from Lafayette Square on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Federal officials stockpiled ammunition at the D.C Armory and sought crowd control devices before law enforcement forcibly cleared protesters from Lafayette Square in June, a whistleblower said in written submissions to Congress.

Why it matters: D.C. National Guard Maj. Adam DeMarco's testimony is a part of a congressional investigation into law enforcement's use of force against demonstrators protesting George Floyd's death in the square.

Context: "Developed by the military as a crowd dispersal tool decades ago, the ADS has largely been abandoned amid doubt of its effectiveness and ethical questions," USA Today notes.

Background: Federal forces flushed protesters from the park across from the White House on June 1, deploying tear gas, stun grenades and brute force, shoving demonstrators and members of the media with shields and batons.

  • They did so shortly before President Trump crossed the park to pose for photos with a Bible at St John's Episcopal Church — across the street from the square.

The big picture: The Trump administration argued afterward that protests had turned violent and officers were responding to fireworks, fires and thrown water bottles and rocks.

  • DeMarco testified in July that the use of force was an "unnecessary" and "unprovoked" escalation that he and his fellow National Guardsmen viewed as "deeply disturbing."
  • He said assault rifles were transferred from Fort Belvoir to the D.C. Armory on June 1 and that transfers of ammunition from states such as Missouri and Tennessee arrived in subsequent days.
  • By mid-June, about 7,000 rounds of 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm ammunition rounds had been transferred to the D.C. Armory, DeMarco said, though he did not specify that the rounds may be used for.
  • The Trump administration did not immediately return Axios' requests for comment.

Read DeMarco's written response, obtained and shared by NPR, via DocumentCloud:

Go deeper

8 hours ago - World

Over 170 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem

An injured man is carried away as Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian protesters at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images

At least 178 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem, Reuters reported late Friday.

The big picture: The clashes come amid growing anger over the threatened eviction of Palestinians from their homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. Tensions have also escalated in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low — Majority back vaccine proof requirements for travel, schools and work — The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant.
  2. Politics: Oklahoma secures $2.6 million refund for hydroxychloroquine purchase — Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations — Americans' return to the skies could benefit smaller airlines.
  5. World: WHO authorizes China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use — Mixed response in Europe to Biden's vaccine patents bombshell.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Ohio GOP censures Rep. Anthony Gonzalez over Trump impeachment vote

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Ohio Republican Party on Friday censured Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) and called for him to resign for voting to impeach former President Trump in January, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Gonzalez is the latest Republican lawmaker to be punished for voting to impeach the former president on a charge of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.