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DC Mayor, U.S. Attorney’s Office Clash Over Prosecuting Rioters

  • The U.S. Attorney’s office and Democratic DC Mayor Muriel Bowser clashed Monday after Bowser said the U.S. Attorney’s office has been “reluctant” to prosecute DC rioters.
  • Police Chief Peter Newsham backed Bowser’s comments at the same press conference, indicating that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has been unusually uncooperative.
  • The U.S. Attorney’s Office called Bowser’s accusation “patently false” and said it “serves no purpose other than to pass blame and foster innuendo.”

The U.S. Attorney’s office and Democratic DC Mayor Muriel Bowser clashed Monday after Bowser accused the U.S. attorney’s office of being “reluctant” to prosecute DC rioters.

“We need the U.S. Attorney for the District – who is a federal appointee of the president – to prosecute them,” Bowser said of those perpetrating violence and destruction in the nation’s capital, according to Fox 5 DC.

“Right now, there’s no accountability for the people who come to these protests and attacked our police. And we haven’t seen a willingness from the U.S. Attorney to prosecute them,” she continued.

Police Chief Peter Newsham said at the same press conference, “We haven’t gotten the assistance from them that I have grown accustomed to.”

“So normally they would be prosecuting these cases and now they are not?” a member of the audience asked Newsham.

“It appears that way, yes,” Newsham responded.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office responded to the remarks made at the press conference in an open letter Monday, calling Bowser’s accusation “patently false” and “serves no purpose other than to pass blame and foster innuendo,” according to WUSA9.

“Since the protests began, this Office has never turned down a single case for prosecution in which there was sufficient evidence to support probable cause,” said the office of acting United States Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin, the publication reported. The United States attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The DC mayor hit back at Sherwin’s office in a Monday evening letter of her own, posted to Twitter with the caption, “MPD does their part to protect residents and visitors. We need our prosecutors to do theirs.”

“I was dismayed that your office declined to prosecute 41 of the 42 rioting arrests made on August 13 and 14,” her letter said. “Indeed, since May 30, the Metropolitan Police Department has submitted 63 affidavits in support of arrest and search warrants directly related to criminal activities conducted under the guise of First Amendment assemblies.”

Bowser continued: “Twenty-eight of these warrants have been declined, while another 24 are still pending review by your office. This mirrors a disturbing pattern we have also identified in homicide cases, where our records reveal 18 warrants that are currently pending with your office awaiting action.”

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has arrested 527 individuals for curfew violations, riot-related burglary and other riot-related events in the nation’s capital between May 30 and Sunday, MPD data shows. MPD did not address how many of those individuals arrested have been prosecuted and referred the DCNF to the DC Superior Court on this question.

DC Superior Court spokeswoman Leah Gurowitz referred the DCNF to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which has not responded to requests for comment. MPD declined to comment to the DCNF on Bowser’s letter.

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