In a congressional hearing, Attorney General William Barr is set to discuss the Portland protests, the “Russiagate” scandal, and his working relationship with President Donald Trump, CNN reported. The report comes the night before Barr is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
Barr’s testimony will come on Tuesday, July 28, the same day that National Guard officer Adam DeMarco is set to dispute the Trump administration’s report on the June 1 Lafayette Square protests, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, the city of Portland has seen 61 consecutive nights of unrest, which have reached a fever pitch in recent weeks following the deployment of federal troops to the city in an attempt to quell the demonstrations. Much of the activity has been centered around the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse, where extensive property damage has been done along with nightly protester occupations in the area directly around the building.
Barr will speak strongly against the activity surrounding the courthouse, saying that what unfolds cannot be reasonably called a protest, but rather “an assault on the Government of the United States.” He will further explain the threat that the officers who are working to protect the building must endure.
“The rioters arrive equipped for a fight, armed with powerful slingshots, tasers, sledgehammers, saws, knives, rifles, and explosive devices.”
The statement points out that just a relatively small number of law enforcement personnel are actually on the property, and several of them have been injured. One officer has suffered severe burns after being struck by a commercial grade firework while three others have suffered serious eye injuries, it reads.
“To state what should be obvious, peaceful protesters do not throw explosives into federal courthouses,” Barr also plans to argue.
Before expressing his thoughts on the protests in the Oregon city, Barr will pay his respects to the late Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, who passed away last week. However, the first major political issue he will address will be the “Russiagate” scandal, which according to the statement he believes to be “bogus.”
“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.”
Barr, who was appointed by Trump and previously served in the same role under George H. W. Bush, is slated to wrap up his opening statement with more strong words on Portland, calling on every member of the committee to condemn violence against federal officers and damage to government buildings regardless of their feelings on the current administration.
“To tacitly condone destruction and anarchy is to abandon the basic rule-of-law that unites us even in a politically divisive time,” he will conclude.