Attorney General William Barr told federal prosecutors to consider bringing sedition charges against protesters who destroy property — accusing them of plotting the overthrow of the U.S. government. That’s according to The Wall Street Journal, which also reports Barr asked the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to consider bringing criminal charges against Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan for allowing Black Lives Matter protesters to set up a police-free zone in Seattle.
The American Civil Liberties Union condemned Barr’s remarks, writing in a statement, “Treating protest as a form of sedition won’t stand up in court, but that is clearly not the point here. This is a tyrannical and un-American attempt to suppress demands for racial justice and an end to police violence.”
This comes as The Washington Post reports the Pentagon’s top military police officer sought to deploy a microwave “heat ray” weapon against protesters in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Square as Black Lives Matter protests spread to the doorstep of the White House in early June.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Barr on Wednesday compared stay-at-home orders during the pandemic to a slavery, saying, “Other than slavery … this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.”