In an email, Marshals Service Assistant Director Andrew C. Smith wrote that the agency “has been asked to immediately prepare to provide federal law enforcement support to protect national monuments (throughout the country).” The subject line of the message indicates it is an “Attorney General Assignment,” suggesting it came from Attorney General William P. Barr.

“This is a challenging assignment due to the breadth of possible targets for criminal activity,” Smith wrote. He said the Marshals Incident Management Team would start a joint operations center in Springfield, Va., to coordinate, and every deputy in the Special Operations Group would be made available to help as soon as Thursday. He also asked other districts and divisions to identify people they might be able to lend to the effort until July 8. Other internal correspondence indicates officials are concerned about monuments being vandalized over the July 4 holiday.