DC attorney general questions National Guard presence

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Utah National Guard soldiers stand on a police line as demonstrators gather to protest the death of George Floyd, Thursday, June 4, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON (AP) — The attorney general for Washington, D.C., pressed the Trump administration and several state governments Thursday to justify the legality of their decision to send a growing contingent of National Guard troops to the nation's capital in the wake of street protests.

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said in letters sent Thursday that he was “reviewing the legality of aspects of the federal government's response to the George Floyd protests in the city.”

In letters sent to Attorney General William Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Racine said the district's government “has received very little information about the legal basis for these entities' presence.”

In all of the letters, Racine asked the federal and state authorities to explain the legal authority for the deployments, the troops’ mission and whether they have been given the authority to make arrests.