Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent letters today to HHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and to Attorney General Merrick Garland, demanding to know what the Biden administration's plan is to protect both federal personnel and property in Portland, Ore.
In light of Antifa attacks in Oregon over the weekend, Jordan wants to know what the federal government plans to do about it.
"Anarchists and violent left-wing extremists continue to vandalize and destroy federal property in Portland, Oregon. Following riots that erupted in May 2020, Portland experienced over 100 consecutive nights of violence as anarchists attacked federal courthouses, small businesses and police precincts," Jordan wrote.
"In August 2020, amid the chaos and civil unrest, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler rejected the Trump Administration's offer to assist in bringing law and order back to the city. Shortly thereafter, the Department of Justice (DOJ) designated Portland as a jurisdiction that has 'permitted violence and destruction of property to persist' and one that has 'refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities.' We write to request information about DOJ’s recent efforts to prosecute crimes against federal property in Portland.
"The vandalism and destruction of federal and private property that began last summer in Portland has not stopped. On March 10, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) removed protective fencing around the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse 'as part of a broader effort to help the city return to normalcy.' However, on March 11, 2021, just hours after the fencing was removed, left-wing agitators attempted to force their way into the courthouse and set fire to the building. Some individuals also burned American flags, smashed windows of local businesses, and attempted to storm a local bank.
"Since last summer, several federal courthouses and government properties in Portland have been damaged or vandalized. In addition to the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse, left-wing agitators have attacked the Edith Green-Wendall Wyatt Federal Building, the Gus J. Solomon U.S. Courthouse, the Pioneer Courthouse, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building. Although repairs to these federal properties are ongoing, the current cost of repairs has reached at least $2.3 million. This figure will inevitably rise as repairs continue.
"The situation in Portland has been exacerbated by the recent budget cuts to the Portland Police Bureau. On June 17, 2020, amid the chaos and violence, the Portland City Council voted to approve $16 million in cuts to the Portland Police Bureau, which dissolved its Gun Violence Reduction Team, School Resource Officers, and the Transit Police Division. Between May 29, 2020, and August 27, 2020, federal law enforcement officers arrested over 100 individuals in Portland for crimes including, arson, assault, and damaging federal government property.
"On February 24, 2021, the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security held a hearing at which journalist Andy Ngo testified that Antifa and left-wing anarchists in Portland have 'developed a riot apparatus that included streams of funding for accommodation, travel, riot gear, and weapons, which resulted in a murder, hundreds of arson attacks, mass injuries, and mass property destruction.' Mr. Ngo stressed to the Congress the importance of not 'downplaying antifa’s violent extremism.' Former Attorney General William P. Barr testified last summer that the DOJ considered attacks on federal property in Portland to be 'federal crimes under statutes enacted by this Congress.'"
Jordan demanded answers by 5:00 p.m. on April 12, 2021.
The summer of 2020 saw violence and rioting in Portland that lasted for over 100 consecutive nights and has been making comebacks throughout the fall and winter. While federal officials decried the one day riot in the nation's capital on Jan. 6, they have said little and done less as regards the destruction in Portland.
It was in July that the Trump administration sent federal agents to protect federal property and were rebuffed for their efforts. The city and state has done little to protect that property.