Democrats did in fact hold a hearing on their celebrated nationwide 2020 riots, but not the one conservatives were looking for, then and today.
At a mid-riot hearing, House Judiciary Committee Dems sympathized with left-wing protesters trying to burn down a federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, and storm the White House. They chastised Attorney General William Barr at the witness table for trying to stop the violence. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had called his people “stormtroopers” — in other words, Nazis.
Thinking back to 2020, I recall a House Democrat “squad” member urging more “unrest” as blocks of businesses burned down and scores of people were killed. A top Democrat in Massachusetts explained that when you burn things down a new forest grows.
I didn’t hear any Democrats denounce violence. It’s now part of their culture. Recently, then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki encouraged protests at the homes of Supreme Court justices, though Republicans say they violate federal law against judge intimidation. President Biden still has not denounced the planned assassination of a Supreme Court justice.
On July 28, rioting across the nation was nearly two months old in protest over the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man. Throngs of left-wingers menaced the White House under the banner of Black Lives Matter. Extra fencing went up. Rioters assaulted police. Buildings were set on fire. Press coverage was favorable.
House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler of New York started off by scolding Mr. Barr for trying to quell the destruction which would amount to about $3 billion nationwide.
Mr. Nadler painted a romantic vision of violent protesters, such as the ones who tried to burn a church down across from the White House. Mr. Nadler said, “You use pepper spray and truncheons on American citizens. You did it here in Washington, he did it in Lafayette Square, you expanded to Portland and now you are projecting fear and violence nationwide in pursuit of obvious political objectives. Shame on you, Mr. Barr.”
Mr. Nadler indicted law enforcement.
“First, under your leadership, the department has endangered Americans and violated their constitutional rights by flooding federal law enforcement into the streets of American cities against the wishes of the state and local leaders of those cities to forcefully and unconstitutionally suppress dissent,” Mr. Nadler said.
The Democratic mayor of Portland said Antifa was trying to destroy his city. Mr. Nadler was once asked about Antifa violence and answered that it is a “myth.” Why does the Judiciary panel chief find it necessary to play PR operative for such a violent Stalinist group?
Rep. Steve Cohen also turned to the White House siege and its police assaults and arson without a word of criticism. So worried was the Secret Service that President Donald Trump was taken to a secure location inside the White House.
Said Mr. Cohen, “At Lafayette Park which has long been honored and accepted as a place of protest in our nation’s capital on the first day of June the world watched in horror on live television as federal agents deployed by the administration and with you present and telling them to get it done used force to clear Lafayette Park said that the president with you and others at your side could walk across the park and have a photo op in front of St. John’s Church.”
(Fact check: the photo-op story wasn’t true)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren ignored the violent group Antifa trying to destroy the federal courthouse in Portland as part of its larger goal to erase America.
Here is how Ms. Lofgren described the Portland protest: “And I’d like to say that so many of them, I would say most of them are nonviolent. We’ve all heard about the wall of moms. The wall of moms who show up to make sure that people are safe. Here’s what they say. They say they’ve been teargassed night after night, left vomiting, that they’ve been shot at with rubber bullets, beanbags, pepper spray. So this brutality has created even more demonstrators.”
Mr. Cohen expressed the same view of people destroying things in Portland. It was Mr. Barr’s fault.
“Unidentified armed federal agents violently attack demonstrators in a violation of the First Amendment’s freedom of assembly and arrested citizens without individualized suspicion and a violation of the fourth amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures in a warrant requirement,” he said.
Mr. Barr responded with some sober analysis that so annoyed the Dems they stopped letting him talk.
He said, “Unfortunately, some have chosen to respond to George Floyd’s death in a far less productive way by demonizing the police, promoting slogans like ‘all cops are bastards’ and making grossly irresponsible proposals that defund the police.”
That proposal proved to be one of the Democratic Party’s greatest miscalculations. Only elite wealthy liberals with private guards, chauffeured SUVs and security gates want to get rid of the police.
Mr. Barr also said, “In the wake of George Floyd’s death violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protest to wreak senseless havoc and destruction on innocent victims. The current situation in Portland is a telling example. Every night for the past two months hundreds of rioters have laid siege to the federal courthouse and other nearby federal property.”
And he said, “Portland, the courthouse is under attack. The federal resources for inside the perimeter around the courthouse defending it from almost two months of daily attacks were people marching to the court, trying to gain entrance and have set fires, throwing things, used explosives and injured police, including just this past weekend perhaps permanently blinding three federal officers with lasers.”
Dems that day didn’t mention any of this stuff. They appreciate a good, left-wing insurrection.
• Rowan Scarborough is a columnist for the Washington Times.
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