pramila jayapal bill barr

Things We Saw Today: Rep. Pramila Jayapal Calls Out Bill Barr’s Hypocrisy in Hearing

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Attorney General Bill Barr appeared before the House Judiciary Committee today to answer for the Justice Department’s deployment of federal officers to cities where they used unnecessary force against non-violent protesters. This included the attack on protesters in Lafayette Square, who were teargassed so Trump could take a photo op with a bible. Barr was also questioned about Roger Stone’s commuted sentence and various other abuses of power in service of Donald Trump.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) took Barr to task in a scathing rebuke of the Attorney General’s violent crackdown. Jayapal said:

“There is a real discrepancy in how you react as attorney general when white men with Swastikas storm a government building with guns. There is no need for the president to, quote, ‘activate you’ because they’re getting the president’s personal agenda done, … But when black people and people of color protest police brutality, systemic racism and the president’s very own lack of response to those critical issues, then you forcibly remove them with armed federal officers, pepper bombs because they are considered terrorists by the president.”

She continued, “And yet your response, Mr. Barr, was to direct federal officers to descend on the protesters and to use shields offensively as weapons, tear gas, pepper balls, irritants, batons, and horses to clear the area just so the president could get a photo op. So I do want to ask you, do you think that your response, do you think the response at Lafayette Square to tear gas, pepper spray and beat protesters and injure American citizens who were just simply exercising their First Amendment rights was appropriate?”

Barr struggled to defend himself, as Jayapal continued to question him. Jayapal was smart, incisive, and accurately captured the anger and outrage we collectively feel over Barr’s goon squad. And many took to Twitter to praise Jayapal.

(via CNN, image: C-SPAN)

Here are some other stories we saw today:

    • France’s largest movie theater closes over lack of new films. (via Variety)
    • Meet Niles Fitch, Disney’s first Black prince, in Secret Society of Second Born Royals. (via Shadow and Act)
    • Actress Amy Seimetz has filed a restraining order against Upstream Color director Shane Carruth. (via Variety)

    • Avatar: The Last Airbender is on Netflix, which means it’s time to air ALL your Zuko and Katara feels. (via
    • Gugu Mbatha-Raw talks about Disney+’s Loki series. (via
    • The Boston Public Library needs help transcribing 40,000 anti-slavery documents from the 19th century. (via Boing Boing)

How’s your Tuesday looking, Mary Suevians?

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.