More than 1250 former U.S. Dept. of Justice employees and officials are calling for an internal investigation into Attorney General Bill Barr‘s role in the “clearing” of protestors from Lafayette Park last week to make room for President Donald Trump’s Bible photo-op. Tear gas and mounted law enforcement agents were among the tools used to remove peaceful protestors from the public land.
The group, mostly former career prosecutors, supervisors and trial lawyers, has penned a letter to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, as The Washington Post reports. They say they are “deeply concerned about the Department’s actions, and those of Attorney General William Barr himself, in response to the nationwide lawful gatherings to protest the systemic racism that has plagued this country throughout its history.”
“In particular,” they continue, “we are disturbed by Attorney General Barr’s possible role in ordering law enforcement personnel to suppress a peaceful domestic protest in Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020, for the purpose of enabling President Trump to walk across the street from the White House and stage a photo op at St. John’s Church, a politically motivated event in which Attorney General Barr participated.”
In public comments the Attorney General has attempted to conflate any acts of possible violent protest during the three nights prior to the President’s photo-op with the entirely peaceful protests in the day of the photo-op. Barr also lied by claiming tear gas was not used, and later even claimed that pepper spray and pepper balls are not even “chemicals.”
Pepper spray is tear gas. The CDC and even his own DOJ say so.
Bill Barr is sticking to the “no tear gas was used” narrative regarding the Park Police attacking peaceful protesters ahead of Trump’s photo op.
“No, there were not chemical irritants. Pepper spray is not a chemical irritant.” pic.twitter.com/KTRFmQtEls
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) June 7, 2020
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