Attorney General (AG) William Barr was grilled on Capitol Hill on Tuesday when he defended the Trump administration’s decision to send federal agents to Portland, Oregon, to protect federal property during ongoing riots in the city, that apparently Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has no problem allowing to continue, at one point asking House Democrats, “Since when is it OK to burn down a federal courthouse?”
After months of unrest, chaos, and violence following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, federal officers were despatched to Portland to defend the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse after it grew to become a target of violent mobs who have tried to set it on fire and attacked a number of U.S. Marshals standing guard.
Throughout a House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) told Barr he should be ashamed of himself for sending in federal agents, accusing the AG of making the move for “obvious political objectives” to help President Donald Trump, the Daily Mail reported.
That’s how Democrats see this? A federal courthouse, where human beings are inside working, was being set on fire night after night.
Actually, if you watched the hearing it was apparently clear that the Democrats were using their time with the Attorney General for fodder soundbites to use in campaign commercials, because not a single one of them acknowledged the riots that have been taking place for about 60 days non stop now.
That’s when Barr fired back, “Since when is it OK to burn down a federal courthouse?”
Barr explained during his prepared statement, “What unfolds nightly around the courthouse cannot reasonably be called a protest; it is, by any objective measure, an assault on the government of the United States.”
He added, “Largely absent from these scenes of destruction are even superficial attempts by the rioters to connect their actions to George Floyd’s death or any legitimate call for reform. Nor could such brazen acts of lawlessness plausibly be justified by a concern that police officers in Minnesota or elsewhere defied the law.”
Democrats were united Tuesday in trashing Barr, a man with an impeccable record of service to our country. It was like watching a Twilight Zone episode where House Democrats were trying to gaslight people watching the hearing into believing the nightly riots filled with violence were nothing more than peaceful protests, and not at all what their own lying eyes have seen night after night on television.
At one point Barr was asked by Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) about the Lafayette Square incident where federal agents went in to clear the area of rioters and to later protect St. John’s Church:
“Are you aware that the director of the church, the Episcopal archbishop of Washington, and the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church nationally, along with the Catholic bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington all denounced this police assault on the civil rights and the civil liberties of the people?” Raskin asked Barr.
Without skipping a beat Barr responded, “Did they do that before or after the fire was put out?”
It was apparently clear that Raskin was trying to set the AG up by using the bishops to hammer a lie that the feds attacked nothing but peaceful protesters outside the church, and his attempt flopped.
Barr was attacked by the Democratic majority over an array of issues throughout his five hours of testimony, and he clashed with Nadler more than once.
At one point, the AG requested that the hearing take a 5-minute break, and the chairman initially denied the request, leading to a bitter exchange that was posted on social media by The Hill.
AG Barr to Rep. Nadler: "You're a real class act." pic.twitter.com/HMY7TSF0EY
— The Hill (@thehill) July 28, 2020
“Mr. Chairman, could we take a 5-minute break?” Barr asked Nadler.
“No,” Nadler responded, causing one other committee member to interject, telling Nadler, “It’s a common courtesy, Mr. Chairman, of every witness.”
Barr then reminded the chairman, “I waited an hour for you this morning, I haven’t had lunch. I’d like to take a 5-minute break.”
Nadler went on to insist that the hearing was “almost finished,” then conceded, “we could certainly take a break.”
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Barr responded, laughing, “You’re a real class act, Mr. Chairman. A real class act.”
Rich is a conservative syndicated opinion writer and owner of Maga-Chat.com. He writes about politics, culture, liberty, and faith.
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