(BREITBART) Attorney General William Barr called out Democrats on Tuesday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing for failing to condemn mob violence and attacks on the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland, Oregon in recent weeks.
“What makes me concerned for the country is [that] this is the first time in my memory that the leaders of one of our great two political parties, the Democratic Party, are not coming out and condemning mob violence and the attack on federal courts,” Barr said
“Why can’t we just say: ‘Violence against federal courts has to stop?’ Could we hear something like that?”
Barr was testifying about the federal law enforcement response to protect the courthouse, which has been vandalized and firebombs by what Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, have called “peaceful protesters.”
Those “protesters” have also attacked the federal officials defending the building.
Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who claimed on Sunday that the violence was a “myth,” did not respond by condemning the violence, but adjourned the hearing for a five-minute hearing instead.
Barr was responding to questions from Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), who had also listed several examples in which Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) had denied that there had been a takeover in downtown Seattle (which later became the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest,” or CHOP) and also denied that there had been violence in the “autonomous” zone.
Jayapal interjected to complain about the way Lesko had pronounced her name, but not to contest Lesko’s summary of her views.
Highlights from the hearing:
Breitbart’s Pennt Star reported:
Attorney General William Barr said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday that left-wing groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter have “hijacked legitimate protests” over the death of a black man in police custody by rioting for two months in Portland, Oregon, attacking police and trying to destroy the federal courthouse and other federal property in the city.
“I want to address a different breakdown in the rule of law that we have witnessed over the past two months,” Barr said. “In the wake of George Floyd’s death, violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests to wreak senseless havoc and destruction on innocent victims.”
The current situation in Portland is a telling example,” Barr said. “Every night for the past two months, a mob of hundreds of rioters has laid siege to the federal courthouse and other nearby federal property.”
“The rioters have come equipped for a fight, armed with powerful slingshots, tasers, sledgehammers, saws, knives, rifles, and explosive devices. Inside the courthouse are a relatively small number of federal law enforcement personnel charged with a defensive mission: to protect the courthouse,” Barr said.
“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,” Barr said.
“Every member of this committee, regardless of your political views or your feelings about the Trump administration should condemn violence against federal officers and the destruction of federal property,” Barr said.
In his prepared remarks, Barr offered more details about the Portland riots.
“In recent nights, 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,” Barr said.
“The rioters have started fires outside the building, and then systematically attacked federal law enforcement officers who attempt to put them out — for example, by pelting the officers with rocks, frozen water bottles, cans of food, and balloons filled with fecal matter,” Barr said. “A recent video showed a mob enthusiastically beating a deputy U.S. marshal who was trying to protect the courthouse — a property of the United States government funded by this Congress — from further destruction.”
“A number of federal officers have been injured, including one severely burned by a mortar-style firework and three who have suffered serious eye injuries and may be permanently blind,” Barr said.
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