Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), sent a letter on Aug. 6 to the attorney general and the acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security requesting a joint investigation by both departments into the lack of cooperation by local Portland police with federal agents, the Washington Examiner reported.
In the letter, Rogers described the riots that have plagued the city of Portland for more than two months in which violent groups, in addition to destroying part of the city, also attacked the Hatfield federal court building in an attempt to set it on fire with police and staff inside.
In response, the Trump administration sent federal agents who were tasked with the protecting federal property.
Rogers noted that local officials not only failed to cooperate with federal agents, but also began a smear campaign against them, which was reflected in mainstream media.
“Portland officials carried out a smear campaign against federal officials, dismissed calls to address the violence, and passed resolutions preventing local police from providing any assistance, coordination, or information with federal counterparts. This lack of cooperation made a difficult situation worse and may have further exposed federal personnel and facilities to violent attacks, putting politics over American lives,” Rogers said.
Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) held a hearing with the Constitution subcommittee to establish clear boundaries between peaceful protests that are protected by the First Amendment and violent riots, and proposed a legislation to hold local authorities accountable for failing to protect citizens and their property during riots.
The Cruz criticized Democratic leaders who, with the help of the media, dismissed the violent demonstrations as “peaceful protests” in which at least 277 federal agents have already reported injuries.
The Democrats’ strategy was based on focusing attention on the use of excessive federal police force during the riots and even denying the existence of one of the main actors behind it, antifa.
As Fox News reported, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler even participated in the violent protests to show his support.
Rogers’s letter calls for a joint investigation between the U.S. attorney general and the Department of Homeland Security, both to estimate the damage caused to federal property as well as the number of police and protesters injured in the riots.
“It is vital that a thorough investigation be conducted into the violent actors that have disrupted a peaceful protest movement, caused significant damage to a federal courthouse, and caused injury to hundreds of law enforcement officers. As part of this investigation, I urge you to ensure that all security footage be maintained and nightly reports on violent incidents and the use of force be collected,” Rogers requested in his letter.
President Trump was also criticized by both mainstream media and Democrats for sending federal aid to these cities saying they have made things worse. However, more than 60% of Americans disagreed with the “defund the police” movement and this may well be an indicator of their approval of the president’s handling of the situation.