The U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington issued a statement early Thursday denying an explosive report that claimed Attorney General William Barr asked federal prosecutors to explore whether they could bring criminal charges against Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan for allowing the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) police-free protest zone that led to two fatal shootings.
Brian T. Moran, the federal prosecutor, said he has had multiple conversations with leadership inside within the Department of Justice and "at no time has anyone at the Department communicated to me that Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is, was or should be charged with any federal crime" related to CHOP.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that Barr directed the Justice Department’s civil rights division to consider criminal charges against the Democratic mayor, who publicly sparred with President Trump and repeatedly denied federal help to quell the unrest in her city.
A department spokesman told the paper that Barr did not direct the civil rights division to explore this idea.
The report also accuses Barr of directing federal prosecutors to consider charging rioters and other violent actors with federal charges -- including sedition -- in a call with U.S. attorneys last week.