“violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests”Attorney General William Barr
Testifying for the first time before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General William Barr pushed back ‘against angry, skeptical Democrats who said President Donald Trump’s administration is unconstitutionally suppressing dissent,’ according to an article by AP News.
The report goes on to mention that Barr also commented on the death of George Floyd, saying that the “violence taking place in Portland, Oregon, and other cities is disconnected from Floyd’s killing,” which he called a “horrible” event that prompted a necessary national reckoning on the relationship between the Black community and law enforcement.
Barr also added, “Given our history it is understandable that, among black Americans, there is at least some ambivalence, and often distrust, toward the police. Until just the last 50 years or so, our laws and institutions were explicitly discriminatory.
“It was not until the 60’s that the Civil Rights movement finally succeeded in tearing down the Jim Crow edifice. Our laws finally came to formally embody the guarantee of equal protection. Since then, the work of securing civil rights has rightly focused on reforming our institutions to ensure they better conform to our laws and aspirations.”
Barr also managed to defend his personal character and actions to the committee. An ABC News report quoted Barr as saying, “Many of the Democrats on this Committee have attempted to discredit me by conjuring up a narrative that I am simply the President’s factotum who disposes of criminal cases according to his instructions,” Barr said in his opening statement. “Judging from the letter inviting me to this hearing, that appears to be your agenda today.”
Whether considered “misperception or not”, Barr also added, “Senator Tim Scott has recounted the numerous times he has been unjustifiably pulled over on Capitol Hill. As one prominent black professional in Washington said to me, African Americans often feel “treated as suspects first and citizens second.” I think these concerns are legitimate.”
Attorney General Barr was no doubt referring to last June, when The Oversight and Reform Committee found Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt, for defying subpoenas for documents about why a citizenship question was added to the 2020 census.
Barr was asked about several incidents, from the Portland protests, and other incidents, including what was deemed the violent clearing of protestors in Washington D.C. last June.
National Guard Maj. Adam DeMarco challenged key aspects of the Trump administration’s explanation for the clearing of the protest in front of the White House, just before President Donald Trump walked through the area to stage a photo event in front of a historic church.
Turning back to the present, Barr addressed the destruction of federal property by commenting, “As elected officials of the federal government, every Member of this Committee – regardless of your political views or your feelings about the Trump Administration – should condemn violence against federal officers and destruction of federal property.”
Barr wrapped up his statements by lastly adding, “The most basic responsibility of government is to ensure the rule of law, so that people can live their lives safely and without fear. The Justice Department will continue working to meet that solemn responsibility.”