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Barr goes on offensive on ‘bogus’ Russia claim, violence in cities

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Striking back at critics, Attorney General William Barr yesterday said the Democrats were politicizing law enforcement in the country on a number of issues, from the Russia investigation to violence in big cities—and reminded Democrats that “the most basic responsibility of government is to ensure the rule of law, so that people can live their lives safely and without fear.”

Barr made his comments in an opening statement to the House Judiciary Committee released prior to his testimony in front of the Committee today.   

He opened his attack accusing Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee of “conjuring” the narrative of the “bogus” Russia investigation in order to discredit him.

“Ever since I made it clear that I was going to do everything I could to get to the bottom of the grave abuses involved in the bogus ‘Russiagate’ scandal,” said Barr in his introduction, “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.”

The Department of Justice is currently investigating the genesis and history of the Russiagate claims inside the FBI to determine whether there was any misconduct by the FBI in the multi-year investigation that came up empty on collusion charges between Russia and President Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.

Barr instead accused Democrats of using the criminal justice system as a political weapon and said he returned to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to restore the DOJ to “her core mission of applying one standard of justice for everyone and enforcing the law even-handedly, without partisan considerations.”

Barr’s testimony in front of the Committee was originally scheduled for March, but has been postponed because of the COVID-19 shutdown.

The House Judiciary Committee has called Barr to testify, accusing the Attorney General of “politicizing” the Department of Justice for the benefit of President Trump.

But Barr continued to shift the focus on members of the Committee, who have stood by while violent protesters attacked people and property, in acts wholly divorced from any reforms that might have benefited George Floyd.

Floyd died while being arrested in Minneapolis, sparking widespread condemnation and calls for police reform.

“To state what should be obvious, peaceful protesters do not throw explosives into federal courthouses, tear down plywood with crowbars, or launch fecal matter at federal officers,” said Barr. “Such acts are in fact federal crimes under statutes enacted by this Congress.”

Barr then reminded the Committee that as elected members of Congress, their job was to uphold the laws.

“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,” said Barr.

To do otherwise is to condone violence and anarchy and abandonment of the rule of law.

“At the very least, we should all be able to agree that there is no place in this country for armed mobs that seek to establish autonomous zones beyond government control, or tear down statues and monuments that law-abiding communities chose to erect, or to destroy the property and livelihoods of innocent business owners,” said Barr.

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