A former US lawyer, Durkan said in a statement, “The Department of Justice cannot become a political weapon operating at the behest of the president, who has spoken out against the actions of this administration.” “This is an act of tyranny, not of democracy.”
“Ultimately, this is not a story about me. It’s about how this president and his attorney general are ready to overturn the law and use the Department of Justice for political purposes,” he said. “It is particularly arrogant that our country tries to use civil rights laws to investigate, intimidate or prevent people fighting for civil rights.”
Barr’s suggestion that prosecutors should consider filing charges against the mayor in line with his public position since the death of George Floyd in late May at the hands of the Minneapolis Police.
Casting himself as a law-and-order man, the Attorney General has used speeches to spread unrest rather than show firm support for the police and advocate law enforcement reforms in a peaceful manner.
This is a topic that has gained traction in conservative media, which Barr closely follows, and he has been known to focus on the issue from time to time.
Still, some federal prosecutors were removed last week after the Attorney General brought violent protesters with the possibility of accusing them of treason, plotting to overthrow the US government.
This story has been updated with additional background information and references.
Ivan Perez of CNN contributed to this report.