WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) recently called for a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation of vandalism by pro-Hamas supporters at the Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Sixteen Senators signed a letter led by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the California incident, which not only disrespected veterans but also violated federal law.  The vandalism involved spray-painting “Free Gaza” and “intifada” at the cemetery operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

 “The defacement of the Los Angeles National Cemetery is disgusting, anti-American, and a testament as to how far pro-Hamas extremists will go to advocate on behalf of a Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the Senators wrote.  “Federal law explicitly prohibits individuals from ‘willfully injur[ing] or destroy[ing]…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.’  The conduct by pro-Hamas extremists at the Los Angeles National Cemetery fits squarely into the conduct described by law.”

“Pro-Hamas radicals and terrorist sympathizers must immediately face consequences for their immoral and illegal tactics.  Therefore, we urge the DOJ to prosecute the pro-Hamas activists responsible for defacing the Los Angeles National Cemetery, given their clear violation of federal law,” the Senators concluded. 

In addition to Hyde-Smith and Rubio, U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) signed the letter.

Read the signed letter to Garland here.