WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) issued the following statement after the Department of Justice named Seattle, Portland, and New York City ‘anarchist jurisdictions’ as justification for attempting to withhold federal funding:

“Attorney General Bill Barr’s effort to cut off federal aid from Seattle, Portland, and New York City is another baseless, unlawful move by President Trump and his administration to use the federal government for political purposes and distract from his failed leadership. The law still applies to President Trump and Attorney General Barr and their attempts to withhold congressionally appropriated money blatantly violate the separation of powers.

“President Trump is distracting from real crises and his failed leadership by fearmongering. As the U.S. reaches 200,000 deaths from COVID-19, he continues to ignore science and fail to respond to the pandemic. The President has unsurprisingly only further divided us as protests around the country have demanded progress on racial justice and police reform. This latest campaign stunt attempting to hold taxpayer funds hostage from American cities will not distract us from the critical issues facing our country.”