Attorney General William Barr is defending the aggressive federal law enforcement response to civil unrest in America, saying “violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests” sparked by George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Barr will tell members of the House Judiciary Committee at a much-anticipated hearing on Tuesday that the violence taking place in Portland, Oregon, and other cities is disconnected from the death of Floyd, which he described as a “horrible” event that prompted a necessary national reckoning on the relationship between the black community and law enforcement.

“Largely absent from these scenes of destruction are even superficial attempts by the rioters to connect their actions to George Floyd’s death or any legitimate call for reform,” Barr will say of the Portland protests, according to a copy of his prepared remarks released by the Justice Department on Monday.

The hearing was to begin at 10 a.m. but was pushed back by 45 minutes because the committee’s chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, was involved in a minor car accident on the drive down from New York, his office said. He was not injured.

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