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Barr Dismisses Report of DOJ Pandemic Power Grab as 'Nonsense'

Barr Dismisses Report of DOJ Pandemic Power Grab as 'Nonsense'
Barr and Trump. (Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 26 March 2020 04:56 PM

Attorney General William Barr on Thursday waved off reports that the Department of Justice is seeking new emergency authority amid the pandemic that would let it suspend certain rights in criminal matters and detain people without limit or trial, according to Fox News.

"It's cockamamie nonsense," Barr exclaimed, according to the news outlet.

In a phone interview with Fox, he also reportedly described the report as a "gross mischaracterization."

The report surfaced this week, drawing an immediate backlash from across the political aisle in Washington. One prominent republican, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, tweeted his displeasure at the thought: "Over my dead body," he wrote.

According to Fox, Barr said the DOJ has raised no such suggestions. Rather, he said, requests came from lawmakers for ways to give judge more scheduling flexibility while courts are closed or paring operations during the virus crisis.

Beyond the rumors, Barr told Fox he wanted to assure the public that law enforcement is still "full throttle" and "focused on remaining fully engaged in their mission while at the same time protecting the workforce as best they can."

Of law enforcement's exposure to COVID-19, he had this to say: "We are seeing high infection rates among law enforcement officials because they're out there doing their jobs. We can deal with anything that comes our way."

And he encouraged the public to hold police where possible during this time of national and global emergency.

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Thursday, 26 March 2020 04:56 PM
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