Seattle’s mayor said a report indicating that Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBarr asked prosecutors to explore charging Seattle mayor over protest zone: report Trump says mail ballots greater election threat than foreign interference Barr told federal prosecutors to aggressively charge protesters with crimes: report MORE instructed federal prosecutors to consider targeting her for charges over a decision to allow protesters to establish an area free from police presence during weeks of protests in the city is “chilling .”
In a statement issued on Twitter late Wednesday, Jenny DurkanJenny DurkanDemocratic mayors rip Trump funding threat: We’re not ‘political pawns’ Seattle police chief resigning after council approves cuts to department Seattle mayor says federal agents are leaving city MORE (D) said that Barr’s reported actions represented an attempt to “subvert the law and use the [Justice Department (DOJ)] for political purposes.”
“The DOJ cannot become a political weapon operated at the behest of the President to target those who have spoken out against his actions. That is an act of tyranny, not of democracy,” she continued, adding: “I will continue to fight for what I believe is right, and I will not be distracted by these threats from meeting the challenges facing our great city: a pandemic, an economic crisis, a climate crisis, and a civil rights reckoning.”
I will continue to fight for what I believe is right, and I will not be distracted by these threats from meeting the challenges facing our great city: a pandemic, an economic crisis, a climate crisis, and a civil rights reckoning.
— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) September 17, 2020
Barr also suggested during the same call that federal prosecutors seek to charge protesters whenever possible, including with crimes as severe as sedition, according to The New York Times.
Durkan faced criticism, particularly from conservatives, after Seattle police were forced to retreat from a downtown area for nearly a month after protesters responding to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody occupied the area.
“Radical Left Governor @JayInslee and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before. Take back your city NOW,” President TrumpDonald John TrumpBarr criticizes DOJ in speech declaring all agency power ‘is invested in the attorney general’ Military leaders asked about using heat ray on protesters outside White House: report Powell warns failure to reach COVID-19 deal could ‘scar and damage’ economy MORE tweeted in June. “If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!”
The mayor this summer met with demonstrators in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone and informed them at the time that police would peacefully evict protesters from the area in the near future, and eventually followed through with that order following several shootings in the area.