A Maine man who allegedly tried to topple a statue of President Andrew Jackson near the White House last week appeared in federal court in Portland on Wednesday.
Graham Lloyd, 37, no specific address listed, was released from jail after appearing before Magistrate Judge John Rich. Rich ordered Lloyd’s case transferred to a federal court in Washington, D.C., a court clerk said.
Lloyd is among four suspects facing a federal charge of destruction of government property causing damage over $1,000. Police allege that he and three others used ropes in their attempt to topple the statue, which is located in Lafayette Park within sight of the White House, on June 22.
A video taken by a television news crew allegedly shows Lloyd helping others get onto the statue, then destroying four wooden wheels from cannons at the base of the statue and overturning a cannon and base with help from others, according to a criminal complaint filed by a United States Park Police detective.
The National Park Service estimated that replacing the statue’s cannon carriages would cost $76,000 and repairing one of the bent portions of the statue would cost $2,000, according to the complaint.
According to National Public Radio, the damage done to the statue enraged President Donald Trump, who signed an executive order on June 24 promising a crackdown on federal monument vandalism and threatening prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.
Trump also tweeted wanted posters of those park police alleged were responsible for damage to the park. During the course of nationwide protests, Trump has expressed outrage over efforts to take down statues, previously threatening to invoke a 2003 law to give fines and jail time to those who deface or destroy federal monuments. The attempted tear-down of Jackson’s statue provoked cries of “disgraceful vandalism” from Trump, who notably holds the 7th president in high regard, NPR reported.
No court date for Lloyd’s next appearance has been set, the clerk said.