House Democrats sent a letter requesting an investigation into the Trump administration’s use of federal law officers to arrest protesters. The letter was sent to the inspectors general of the Justice Department and Homeland Security Department.
What We Know:
- The letter was written by the leaders of three house committees – Jerry Nadler of the Judiciary Committee, Bennie Thompson of Homeland Security, and Carolyn Maloney of Oversight. All three leaders wrote the letter to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz and said they were “increasingly alarmed” by the situation. They wrote that the departments have abused emergency authorities to justify using force against Americans.
- President Donald Trump has called protesters “anarchists” and “lowlifes” according to the Huffington Post. He has vowed to use military force against those engaging in civil unrest. The executive order he signed allows the Justice Department to prosecute anyone who damages a federal monument. Last week, Black Lives Matter protests continued in Portland, Oregon and Trump ordered federal officers to detain people during the late-night demonstrations.
- The House Democrats wrote, “The Administration’s insistence on deploying these forces over the objections of state and local authorities suggest that these tactics have little to do with public safety, but more to do with political gamesmanship.” It also states that deploying these federal officers suppresses First Amendment protected activities. On Sunday, Trump defended the administration’s decision, claiming Portland has “lost control of the anarchists and agitators”.
- Trump tweeted, “We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PREOPLE.” The House Democrats fully support Oregon’s Attorney general’s decision in requesting a federal investigation into the incidents in Portland.
The letter comes as a result of the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the issue of police brutality against Black Americans.