- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 2, 2020

President Trump ordered his Justice Department to create a name-and-shame list of “anarchist jurisdictions” deemed to be allowing lawlessness to spread on their streets, and told his budget director Wednesday to try to figure out ways to pull some federal money from those places.

Mr. Trump, in a memo, particularly singled out New York City, Washington, D.C., Seattle and Portland, Oregon as places where “anarchy has beset” communities.

“My administration will not allow federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones,” he said.

Mr. Trump directed Attorney General William P. Barr to come up with a list of communities that have forbidden police to step in to stop violence, have declared no-go zones for officers, or pursued “Defund Police” policies. Mr. Barr is also to look at communities that have rebuffed Mr. Trump’s offers of federal law enforcement.

The president gave details of what irked him about each of the four cities he named. In New York, he said gun violence has soared; in Seattle, protesters took over part of the city for weeks; in Portland, the federal courthouse was under nightly attack for about a month, and the city still sees near-nightly mayhem; and in the nation’s capital, the president said he had to call out the National Guard to step in where Mayor Muriel Bowser wouldn’t.

“Without law and order, democracy cannot function. Americans cannot exercise their rights, including their rights to peaceful expression, assembly, and protest. Property is destroyed, and innocent citizens are injured or killed,” he said.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called the president’s move “an illegal stunt.”

“President Trump has actively sought to punish NYC since day one,” Mr. Cuomo tweeted. “He let COVID ambush New York. He refuses to provide funds that states and cities MUST receive to recover. He is not a king. He cannot ‘defund’ NYC.”

At a press conference Wednesday night, Mr. Cuomo said of the president, “Forget bodyguards, he better have an army if he thinks he’s going to walk down the street in New York.”

The new policy is similar to one he tried to impose on so-called “sanctuary cities” that refuse cooperation with federal immigration agents and officers. He tried to cut Justice Department grant money. Those moves are still being battled in the courts.

In this case, Mr. Trump listed housing, transportation, job training and social services as potential targets, but said it will be up to the White House Office of Management and Budget to figure out a policy “disfavoring” the cities on the name-and-shame list.

Russ Vought, director of OMB, said his office is “exploring all options,” but seemed to focus specifically on the nexus of policing and federal funds.

“The lack of law and order surrounding these riots, and response from local leadership, is a dereliction of duty,” Mr. Vought said. “Our men and women in blue cannot be handcuffed by local leadership in their efforts to respond to riots and protect their fellow citizens.”

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