Trump and Bill Barr urged by right-wing activists to sue Democratic states over coronavirus lockdowns: report
US Attorney General Bill Barr (right) has been frequently accused of being too cozy with President Donald Trump (AFP Photo/NICHOLAS KAMM)

On Saturday, Politico reported that a number of President Donald Trump's allies are urging him to use the Justice Department to sue Democratic states over coronavirus lockdowns.

"In a letter sent to Attorney General Bill Barr on Friday, the Conservative Action Project, a group of conservative leaders including Matt Schlapp of the American Conservative Union, Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch and Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots, called governors and local leaders 'petty, would-be dictators' who had committed 'rampant abuses of constitutional rights and civil liberties' as part of their response to the coronavirus," reported Meredith McGraw and Josh Gerstein.

"Among the examples they include are 'arresting pro-life counselors for peacefully standing outside an abortion clinic while maintaining social distance,' 'arresting a man for surfing,' ticketing people attending drive-in church services, and 'prohibitions on citizens’ rights to purchase firearms.'"

A DOJ spokeswoman declined to say whether they would go forward with this plan, saying only, "We are reviewing the letter."

In recent days, a spate of right-wing protests have targeted states like Michigan with strict lockdowns, fueled in part by right-wing groups with ties to GOP megadonors. Trump himself endorsed the protests in a series of tweets calling to "liberate" states. But polls have shown the public broadly supports these measures.