Democratic lawmakers and rights advocates voiced outrage and contempt overnight in response to a new five-page memo from the Justice Department sanctioned by President Donald Trump late Wednesday that would restrict federal funding to U.S. cities determined by Attorney General William Barr to be so-called “anarchist jurisdictions” — a term that made clear to critics the move is nothing short of an election-year canard designed to bolster the president’s “law and order” campaign message.

According to the Washington Post’s Jeff Stein — who characterized the move as an “extraordinary attack on political opponents just months ahead of the 2020 election” by Trump — the DOJ memo “directs the White House Office of Management and Budget [OMB] to give guidance to federal agencies on restricting funding to cities that ‘defund’ their police departments. The memo also directs the Justice Department within 14 days to come up with a list of localities that qualify as ‘anarchist jurisdictions’ and post that list publicly.”

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