Jayapal: Barr Called BLM "Terrorists" But Ignored Armed Michigan Protesters

29 Juillet, 2020, 17:53 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Attorney General William Barr participates in a press conference at the Department of Justice

"You have aided and abetted the worst failings of the president", said Representative Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

Barr said such criticism was not fair, noting that his department has not indicted any political enemies of Trump, though he conceded he did help two of the president's associates in criminal cases. Widespread protests, including those outside the White House, were sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died in May after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him at his neck while he was begging for air. "Shame on you Mr. Barr", Nadler said."Shame on you".

"There is no precedent for the Department of Justice actively seeking out conflict with American citizens, under such flimsy pretext, or for such petty purposes", Nadler said.

The committee's top Republican Jim Jordan played an eight-minute video montage of news reports showing protesters violently clashing with police during ongoing nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.

The Democrat-led hearing covered a wide range of controversial actions from Mr Barr's Department of Justice (DOJ).

During an exchange about the deployment of federal agents to Portland, Oregon, where they have clashed nightly with anti-racism demonstrators who have also set fires and thrown objects, Barr responded, "We can not just stand aside and watch the federal courthouse be destroyed".

"Rioters have barricaded the front door of the courthouse, pried plywood off the windows with crowbars, and thrown commercial-grade fireworks into the building in an apparent attempt to burn it down with federal personnel inside".

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"Major protests in MI, you're the attorney general, and you didn't know the protesters called for the governor to be lynched, shot and beheaded?" she questioned.

The big picture: Trump testified in written answers to former special counsel Robert Mueller that he did not recall discussing WikiLeaks with Stone.

On the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis, Barr defended President Trump by blaming "President Obama's mishandling" of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing shortages and a "run down" Strategic National Stockpile.

"The president has not attempted to interfere in these decisions", he said. "I thought I was the one who was supposed to be heard". "That is precisely what I have done".

Democrats have accused Trump of commuting Stone's sentence to ensure that Stone would not incriminate him. "I want to thank you for having the courage to say that we are getting politics out of the Department of Justice".

Barr attempted to push back, claiming that the protests were not near a federal building and thus not under his authority-perhaps forgetting that the demonstrations in MI were, as Politico's Zack Stanton noted, around "100 yards away from the Chamberlain Federal Building".

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