US attorney refutes report saying AG Barr mulled charges against Seattle mayor

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A US attorney overseeing the Seattle, Wash., area joined Attorney General William Barr in denying a report that the nation’s top law enforcement officer asked prosecutors to explore criminal charges against the mayor of Seattle.

In a statement released late Wednesday, Brian Moran, US attorney for the Western District of Washington, refuted reporting from the New York Times published earlier that day, saying he would be aware of such a probe.

“Throughout this lengthy period of civil unrest, I have had multiple conversations with Department of Justice leadership. They have asked for information about protest activity devolving into violence, about federal interests implicated by the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, and about the cases filed in this District regarding federal crimes.

“At no time has anyone at the Department communicated to me that Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is, was, or should be the subject of a criminal investigation or should be charged with any federal crime related to the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP). As U.S. Attorney I would be aware of such an investigation,” Moran said.

On Wednesday, The Times reported that Barr told federal prosecutors during a phone call last week to consider charging rioters and looters disrupting peaceful protests with sedition, as well as to explore if Durkan could be charged for allowing some residents to establish a police-free area.