The Mayor of Seattle has hit out at William Barr following reports that he considered charging her for allowing protesters to create an autonomous zone in the city.
Reports in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday claimed that the Attorney General suggested bringing sedition charges against arrested protesters.
Mayor Jenny Durkan responded to Barr in a statement on Friday.
“The Department of Justice cannot become a political weapon operated at the behest of the President to target those who have spoken out against this administration’s actions,” Durkan said.
“That is an act of tyranny, not of democracy.”
“Ultimately, this is not a story about me. It is about the how this President and his Attorney General are willing to subvert the law and use the Department of Justice for political purposes,” she said.
“It is particularly egregious to try to use the civil rights laws to investigate, intimidate, or deter those that are fighting for civil rights in our country.”
Barr is coming in for sustained criticism following reporting of his conference call with federal prosecutors where he told them to aggressively pursue charges against those arrested.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media