AG Barr hammered by Rep. Jayapal over unequal prosecution of BLM and anti-masker protestors

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As Democrats take their turns peppering Attorney General William Barr with questions at today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, each is focusing on a different aspect of Barr’s misconduct in office.

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Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) took on a subject very relevant to voters in her home state of Washington where federal troops are now in Seattle to repeat their campaign of unwarranted provocations of otherwise primarily peaceful BLM protestors with violent suppression tactics that have so devastated people where they were first deployed in nearby Portland, Oregon.

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Rep. Jayapal interrogated the Attorney General about the disparity in the reactions the Trump administration has responded to so viciously in dealing with the protestors at the Portland federal courthouse versus the tweets of support and complete inaction when armed right-wing anti-maskers intimidatingly occupied the steps of the Michigan statehouse back in April.

“When white men with swastikas storm a government building with guns, there is no need for the president to ‘activate’ you, because they’re getting the president’s personal agenda done,” Jayapal said. “But when black people and people of color protest police brutality, systemic racism and the president’s very own lack of response to those critical issues, then you forcibly remove them with armed federal officers [and] pepper bombs because they are considered terrorists by the president.”

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After Barr made an incredulous protestation of ignorance of the threats of lynching made by the maskless deplorables against Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Congresswoman Jayapal really let Barr have it over his sycophantic support of the president above the nation’s rule of law.

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“You take an aggressive approach to Black Lives Matter protests, but not to right-wing extremists threatening to lynch a governor if it’s for … the president’s benefit,” she said.

Representative Jayapal also forced Attorney General Barr to continue trying to pass off his proven lie that “tear gas” — a substance characterized as a chemical weapon by the Geneva Convention — was not used against protestors when clearing a path for Trump’s infamous Bible-clutching photo op was actually true.

The congresswoman accused the Attorney General of making a “semantic distinction” in his continued denials that have been widely disproven by eyewitnesses to the violent behavior of federal troops on Lafayette Square that night.

It matters little to protestors dousing their eyes with milk, water, or whatever liquid was at hand whether the substance used by to make their eyes water and sting was a called a “chemical irritant” or “tear gas.”

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The effect was still the same.

The questioning of Attorney General Barr on Capitol Hill continues. Check-in with Occupy Democrats for more coverage of the hearings.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by Matt Zapotosky, Karoun Demirjian, John Wagner, Felicia Sonmez, and Devlin Barrett at The Washington Post.

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Vinnie Longobardo

Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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