In contentious testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Attorney General William Barr gave no quarter as he confronted Democrats for their repeated attempts to downplay the chaos in Portland, Oregon. Chief among the downplayers has been Rep. Jerry Nadler, who presides over the Judiciary Committee. Nadler came to the hearing ready to unload on Barr, but it was the New York Democrat who wound up looking foolish when the highly-respected attorney general set the record straight about what’s really going on with these, cough-cough, peaceful protests.
Nadler kicked the hearing off (over an hour late) with a long list of what Democrats consider to be Barr’s sins while serving in the Trump administration. These sins include supposedly allowing the president to call the shots at the Justice Department to interfering in the Democratic Party’s efforts to create a national mail-in voting system. Lingering at the forefront of these transgressions, of course, was Barr’s role – whatever it may be – in authorizing the use of federal agents to quell the unrest in Portland and other American cities.
Unrest that Nadler believes – in his own words – to be a “myth.”
Asked earlier in the week about whether or not he would disavow the violence in Portland, Nadler replied: “That’s a myth that’s being spread only in Washington, D.C.”
This, of course, comes as news to anyone who has seen the videos of rioters throwing objects at police, tearing down fences in front of a federal courthouse, and generally behaving like an unhinged mob for two months straight.
Nadler boldly doubled-down on the idea that Portland riots are nothing more than a right-wing fever dream on Tuesday, accusing Barr of looking out for Trump’s reelection campaign when he put his stamp of approval on the deployment of federal agents to the Oregon city.
“‘The president wants footage for his campaign ads, and you appear to be serving it up to him as ordered,” Nadler claimed. “The protesters aren’t mobs, they’re mothers, they’re veterans and mayors.”
One is reminded of Obama’s contention that refugees were just children and moms. You know, harmless women like the one who shot dozens in San Bernardino.
Barr did not take Nadler’s accusation lightly.
“What unfolds nightly around the courthouse cannot reasonably be caused protest, it is by any objective measure an assault on the government of the United States,” Barr said. “Since when is it OK to burn down a federal courthouse? The rioters come equipped for fighting. These cannot reasonably be called protests.”
Well, Democrats cannot reasonably be called patriots, so the internal logic remains sound.