WASHINGTON, DC – On November 2, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, sent a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr and a letter to Russell T. Vought, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), requesting information on unprecedented efforts by the Trump Administration to withhold federal funds from Seattle, New York City, and Portland, Oregon—cities that they have spuriously designated “anarchist jurisdictions.”
“This bizarre treatment of great American cities appears to be political retaliation by President Trump against municipal authorities that have refused to abet a brutal federal response to peaceful protests for racial equity in law enforcement,” the Chairs wrote. “We demand that you cease implementation of this plainly vindictive, erroneous, and almost certainly unconstitutional memorandum and policy.”
On September 2, 2020, President Trump issued a memorandum ordering DOJ and OMB to review federal funding given to “jurisdictions that permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America’s cities.”
On September 21, 2020, DOJ announced that it had designated New York, Seattle, and Portland because they allegedly “permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake measures to counteract criminal activities.”
Neither the President’s memorandum nor DOJ’s press release explained how these three cities, of thousands in America, were certified to be “anarchist” while others escaped similar description. It also remains unclear what federal funding streams have been placed in jeopardy because of these designations, or how OMB will go about determining what, if any, funds to withhold from targeted jurisdictions.
Today’s letter requests DOJ and OMB to produce documents and information by November 16, 2020, regarding the designation of “anarchist jurisdictions” and the funding streams that will be affected.
The letter to the DOJ is available online: https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2020-11-02.CBM%20JR%20GEC%20to%20Barr-DOJ%20re%20Anarchist%20Jurisdiction%20Letter.pdf.
The letter to the OMB is also available online: https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2020-11-02.CBM%20JR%20GEC%20to%20Vought-OMB%20re%20Anarchist%20Jurisdiction.pdf.