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Rep. Pramila Jayapal did not pull any punches on Tuesday when Attorney General William Barr appeared before the House Judiciary Committee.
Jayapal called Barr for his response to the Black Lives Matter protests, accusing him of taking an “aggressive” approach to silence peaceful protestors — but he did not take the same action when white supremacists “swarmed” the Michigan Capitol building carrying assault weapons.
“The point I’m trying to make here … is that there is a real discrepancy in how you react as the attorney general — the top cop in this country — 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,” the congresswoman said.
On June 1, police officers in Lafayette Square sprayed protesters with chemical irritants and threw flash bangs to disperse the crowd at the direction of Doland Trump, who was headed to St. John’s Church for a photo-op.
Jayapal continued, “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.”
Barr attempted to interrupt the Washington Democrat, who again shut him down, asserting that it was her time, and she will use it however she so chooses.
As expected, Barr bobbed and weaved through the grilling, but Jayapal kept her focus.
“You are supposed to represent the people of the United States of America, not violate people’s First Amendment rights.
“You are supposed to uphold democracy and secure equal justice under the law, not violently dismantle certain protesters based on the president’s personal agenda,” she added.