A government watchdog in Washington is wondering whether President Trump’s new attorney general, Jeff Sessions, will continue to allow taxpayer money to be wasted on prosecution of a veteran for putting two small American flags on a fence at a Veterans Administration facility.
The case brought by the Obama administration is over a pair of “four-by-six-inch American flags,” explains Judicial Watch.
They were placed on a fence that is part of the “Great Lawn Gate” marking the entrance to the Los Angeles National Veterans Park on Memorial Day in 2016.
“Will Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice (DOJ) continue wasting taxpayer dollars to criminally prosecute a 74-year-old U.S. Army veteran for posting two American flags in a southern California Veterans Administration facility?” Judicial Watch asked Tuesday.
“The absurd case was initiated under President Obama, but is set to go to trial in federal court next month under new DOJ leadership. The military veteran faces up to six months in jail for the ghastly offense of affixing Old Glory at a site honoring those who served their country.”
Judicial Watch said it was unable to obtain a response from Sessions’ office, nor did the DOJ press office respond to an inquiry from WND.
The veteran, Robert Rosebrock, posted the flag on the outside fence of a VA facility in West Los Angeles that is part of a larger 388-acre parcel that includes the Veterans Home of West Los Angeles.
Rosebrock served in the U.S. Army in the 1960s at the Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.
Judicial Watch said that since 2008, Rosebrock and a group of fellow veterans “have assembled at the gate weekly and on Memorial Day to protest the VA’s failure to make full use of the property to benefit veterans, particularly those who are homeless.”
The property was given to the government in the 1880s to care for disabled veterans. It now holds a veterans’ home, but it also is the site of the stadium for UCLA’s baseball team, laundry facilities, 20th Century Fox Television storage warehouses and soccer fields.
Rosebrock had been told that federal rules allowed the American flag to be posted on the fence, but the VA “later claimed that it erred in allowing the flags because it incorrectly interpreted the applicable regulation.”
The defendant was cited more than a dozen times, but the charges were dropped.
He’s also facing charges for taking pictures in the area of the fence.
Rosebrock’s trial is scheduled for March 7 in a Los Angeles federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steve Kim. Judicial Watch and Los Angeles attorney Robert P. Sticht are representing Rosebrock.