Dem Sen. Merkley ‘Astounded’ Barr Suggested Charging Violent Protesters with Sedition — ‘Authoritarian Approach’

Thursday on “CNN Newsroom,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) reacted to Attorney General William Barr reportedly suggesting sedition as a possible charge against violent protesters and rioters. According to The New York Times, Barr also asked federal prosecutors to explore charging Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) over the “autonomous zone.”

Merkley said he is “astounded” by Barr’s comments, which he said were part of an “imperial presidency” and “authoritarian approach.”

“I’m astounded,” Merkley stated. “If people are engaged in property damage — and I condemn violence on all fronts — they should be charged with property damage, but what I read into Attorney General Barr’s comments is he wants people who are protesting in opposition to the administration to be charged with sedition. I don’t know that it’s that clearly laid out, but that was the impression I took from it.”

“This is part of an imperial presidency, an authoritarian approach where you undermine the legitimacy of the press,” he continued. “You absolutely make disagreeing with the administration a crime, charge them with sedition. I think the Attorney General or the various prosecutors who weighed in and shared that news, they are professionals who were just astounded that our top law enforcement person would propose really what is politicizing protest.”

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

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