Mayor Durkan Issues Statement on New York Times Report That Attorney General William Barr Asked Prosecutors to Investigate Her

Seattle (September 16, 2020) – Former U.S. Attorney for Western Washington Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan released the following statement after a New York Times report that Attorney General William Barr asked prosecutors to explore charges against the Mayor.

“Today’s report is chilling and the latest abuse of power from the Trump administration. As a former U.S. Attorney, I took an oath of office to protect the Constitution and the rule of law. That is the bedrock of our country and why the Department of Justice cannot become a political weapon operated at the behest of the President to target those who have spoken out against this administration’s actions. That is an act of tyranny, not of democracy. 

“Ultimately, this is not a story about me. It is about how this President and his Attorney General are willing to subvert the law and use the Department of Justice for political purposes. It is particularly egregious to try to use the civil rights laws to investigate, intimidate, or deter those that are fighting for civil rights in our country.  

“Not surprisingly, just weeks before an election this is yet another effort by the President and his administration to distract from his abject failure to lead America through its toughest challenges. He downplayed the threat of COVID-19, which has cost nearly 200,000 Americans their lives. He has done nothing to help millions of Americans facing an economic crisis, and he has threatened to withhold funding from Seattle and other American cities because of their commitment to racial justice. He also rolled back commonsense climate protections that undoubtedly have played a part in the climate fire crisis that we are currently experiencing.

“I will continue to fight for what I believe is right, and I will not be distracted by these threats from meeting the challenges facing our great city: a pandemic, an economic crisis, a climate crisis, and a civil rights reckoning.”