Rep. Jayapal absolutely torched AG Bill Barr during his hearing at the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday afternoon. All that was left after she was done was a steaming carcass and a pile of smoke.
BARR: Well, first, to my understanding that no tear gas was used on Monday, June 1st.
JAYAPAL: Mr. Barr, that is a semantic distinction that has been proven false by many fact checkers.
BARR: How is it semantic? Tear gas is a particular compound compound.
JAYAPAL: You talked about chemical irritants and it has been proven false by reports. So just answer the question. Do you think that was appropriate at Lafayette Park to pepper spray tear gas and beat protesters and injure American citizens?
BARR: Well, I don't accept your characterization of what happened. But as I explained, the effort there was --
JAYAPAL: Mr. Barr, just answer yes or no. So let me just tell you, I'm starting to lose my temper. According to sworn testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee by Adam Demarco who was there, this was, quote, an unprovoked escalation and excessive use of force against peaceful protesters, numerous media reports.
BARR: I don't remember Demarco as being involved in the decision-making.
JAYAPAL: Sir, sir, the President told Governors on a telephone call that the way to deal with the protesters of police brutality and systemic racism like in Lafayette Square is that, quote, you have to get much tougher. you have to dominate. if you don't dominate, you're wasting your time. these are terrorists. And he also talked about you on that call, sir. Here is what he said. He said, the Attorney General is here, Bill Barr, and we will activate Bill Barr and activate him strongly. Do you remember that call, Mr. Barr?
BARR: Yes, I do. But he wasn't talking about protesters. He was talking about rioters.
JAYAPAL: Apparently the President believes you can be activated to implement the President's agenda and dominate American people exercising first amendment rights if they're protesting against him. But let's look at how you respond when the protesters are supporters of the President. On two separate occasions after President Trump tweeted 'liberate Michigan' to subvert stay home orders to protect the public health of people in Michigan, protesters swarmed the Michigan capital carrying guns. Some with swastikas, and a dark haired doll with a noose around its neck. Are you aware they called for the Governor to be lynched, shot and beheaded?
JAYAPAL: You're not aware of that?
BARR: I was not aware of that.
JAYAPAL: Major protests in Michigan. You are the Attorney General and you didn't know that the protesters called for the Governor to be lynched and beheaded.
BARR: Well, there are a lot of protests around the United States and on June 1st, I was worried about the District of Columbia, which is federal.
JAYAPAL: In certain parts of the country, you are very aware with those, but when protesters with guns and swastikas.
BARR: I am aware of --
JAYAPAL: Excuse me. This is my time and I control it. But in Michigan when protesters carried guns and confederate flags and swastikas and called for the Governor of Michigan to be beheaded and shot and lynched, somehow you are not aware of that. Somehow you didn't know about it so you didn't send federal agents in to do to the President's supporters what you did to the President's protesters. In fact, you didn't put pepper balls on those protesters. So the point I'm trying to make here, Mr. Barr, that I think is important for the country to understand is there is a real discrepancy in how you react as Attorney General when white men with swastikas storm a government building with guns. There is no need for the President so, quote, activate you because they're getting the President's personal agenda done. 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, pepper bombs because they are considered terrorists by the President. You take an aggressive approach to black lives matter protests, but not to right wing extremists threatening to lynch the governor if it's for the president's benefit. Did I get it right, Mr. Barr?
Not only did she get him to admit that he only follows, and dispatches federal gestapo agents, to protests that involve black lives matter and democrats, but he denied knowing anything about a protest that involved direct threats to Governors from Trump supporters. Further, he argued semantics about the usage of chemical irritants to disperse a crowd of peaceful protesters congregated in Lafayette Square on June 1st, the day that Trump set up his infamous walk to the Church to get a photo op. Just disgraceful gaslighting from the sitting Attorney General, but Rep. Jayapal got his number.