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Barr: It’s ‘possible’ Pelosi’s comments endangered federal law enforcement

Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of potentially endangering America’s law enforcement community by likening the federal officers occupying Portland, Ore., to the “stormtroopers” of Nazi Germany.

The remarks from the Justice Department chief came at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, when he was asked by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) whether Pelosi’s comparison “encourages the violence that we’re seeing” and “participation against the police” at anti-racism protests.

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“I think that’s possible, and I think it’s irresponsible to call these federal law enforcement officers ‘stormtroopers,’” Barr said.

Congressional Democrats have condemned in harsh terms the Department of Homeland Security agents President Donald Trump deployed to Portland over the July 4 weekend to quash incidents of civil unrest associated with mass demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality.

Critics of the administration have likened the federal force to secret police and characterized their intervention as fascistic — pointing to the officers’ ambiguous military-style clothing, aggressive treatment of protesters, and controversial tactics such as loading Americans into unmarked vehicles.

“Unidentified stormtroopers. Unmarked cars. Kidnapping protesters and causing severe injuries in response to graffiti. These are not the actions of a democratic republic,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter earlier this month. “@DHSgov’s actions in Portland undermine its mission. Trump & his stormtroopers must be stopped.”

Although administration officials have denounced Democratic descriptions of the federal officers, Republican lawmakers and prominent conservatives used similarly fierce language to decry what they viewed as unnecessary force by the FBI against the president’s associates in recent years.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, branded as “big stormtroopers” the agents who raided the home and offices of Michael Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, in April 2018. And Roger Stone, Trump’s longtime informal political adviser, said bureau officials employed “Gestapo tactics” when they arrested him in January 2019.


Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

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