Bill Barr’s ‘ridiculous’ excuses for clearing out Lafayette Park protesters ripped to shreds by Washington Post
Attorney General Bill Barr over the weekend defended the Trump administration’s decision to clear out people who were peacefully demonstrating in Lafayette Park so that President Donald Trump could have a photo op in front of the St. John’s Church.
However, a Washington Post analysis of Barr’s statements shows that the attorney general made a number of false claims about the Lafayette Park incident, including what the paper describes as the “ridiculous” assertion that pepper spray is not classified as a “chemical irritant.”
“Barr seems to be basing his denial both on recategorizing pepper spray as somehow less bad than synthetic compounds (“chemicals”) and by noting that it’s technically not a gas, but a solid powder. But, then… tear gas isn’t a gas, it’s a fine particulate or mist… Again, Barr’s trying to be cute with his language, offering a pedantic refutation of a common term like a fourth grader who’s just learned that a tomato is not a vegetable.”
The paper also takes Barr to task for trying to smear the demonstrators he cleared as violent by linking them to people who had committed acts of arson and vandalism the night before.
“Barr using that as a predicate for describing the Monday protest as violent is like arresting someone for reckless driving because two other cars had driven recklessly on the same road an hour before,” the Post writes.