House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) released a joint statement on Saturday, July 18, accusing President Donald Trump of playing “political games.”
They warned that the House would not tolerate the administration’s actions after it deployed federal officers to Portland to quell violent protests. “As our nation mourns the loss of our colleague and beloved civil rights leader John Lewis, we are again reminded of the immense power of peaceful protest in the fight against racial injustice and police brutality,” the statement read.
“Yet time and time again, the Trump Administration shows its lack of respect for the dignity and First Amendment rights of all Americans,” it continued.
Public demonstrations across Portland have continued for weeks following the death of George Floyd on May 25.
While protesting has lessened in other cities, the nightly protests in Portland are increasingly violent and escalated to federal buildings’ desecration.
Acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan said Border Patrol agents sent to Portland were struck by frozen water bottles, beer bottles, frozen eggs, rocks, bottle rockets, and commercial-grade fireworks over the weekend. Some of them were injured during the attack, reported the Washington Examiner. “These are not protesters, these are criminals who got together and organized and planned and actually brought weapons, they brought shields, they brought frozen water bottles, rocks, lasers, weapons with the intent to destroy a federal building and harm law enforcement officers,” Morgan said in an interview.
50th day of violent protests in Portland
Antifa & BLM attack the front of the boarded-up federal courthouse. Whenever law enforcement responds, mayor, senators & gov calls it incitement to violence against “peaceful protesters.”
The 50th day of violent protests in Portland.
Antifa & BLM attack the front of the boarded-up federal courthouse. Whenever law enforcement responds, mayor, senators & gov calls it incitement to violence against “peaceful protesters.” Video by @FromKalen: pic.twitter.com/xaP5Vk2tko
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 18, 2020
Portland police declared a riot as officers were struck by bricks, mortars, M-90s, and flammable items while attempting to disperse the crowd.
Here is some video taken of criminal activity near the Justice Center from early this morning. A riot was declared and multiple arrests were made. pic.twitter.com/i4ydk8bQgW
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) July 5, 2020
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 19, 2020
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently sent federal officers to Portland this week under President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence.
However, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) blamed President Trump and the federal government for inflaming tensions in the City of Rose, saying, “This whole situation is now blowing up as a result of the tactics being used by the federal government.”
Pelosi claimed the president had deployed “stormtroopers” to the city and called for an end to DHS’s mission. In their statement, Saturday, Pelosi and Blumenauer vowed that the Democratic-controlled House would move to stop the Trump administration’s “egregious abuse of power.”
“We live in a democracy, not a banana republic,” they wrote. “We will not tolerate the use of Oregonians, Washingtonians—or any other Americans—as props in President Trump’s political games. The House is committed to moving swiftly to curb these egregious abuses of power immediately.”
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) hit back at Pelosi, accusing Democrats of “accepting mob violence, while disparaging law enforcement as ‘stormtroopers.'”
“Graffiti? What a lie,” Crenshaw tweeted out with a link of actual arrest information in Downtown Portland.
“Share this. Americans must understand that voting Democrat is a vote against safety and order,” he wrote.
Graffiti? What a lie. See this link for actual arrest info.https://t.co/oa7wg9ZeJP
Democrats are openly accepting mob violence, while disparaging law enforcement as “stormtroopers.”
Share this. Americans must understand that voting Democrat is a vote against safety and order. https://t.co/R3UofDi4TE
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) July 18, 2020