United States Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday demanding the preservation of all records relating to the Department of Justice's disciplinary actions against Deputy US Marshals who defended federal property in Portland, Oregon, from left-wing anti-police rioters in summer 2020.
The letter sent to Attorney General Garland reads:
"We write to request that the Department of Justice preserve all records relating to the Department's disciplinary and personnel actions against Deputy U.S. Marshals (DUSMs) who defended federal property in Portland, Oregon, from left-wing rioters in Summer 2020. According to new reports, the Department has declined to pay for legal counsel as these DUSMs defend themselves in civil suits related to Antifa attacks on the federal courthouse in Portland."
The Congressman said that "the Department is retaliating against three of the DUSMs, placing them on limited duty and informing them–for the first time–that they are under investigation for their actions in Portland" and noted that "these personnel actions come almost two years after the Antifa riots" despite the DUSMs receiving Department recognition for their defense of the federal courthouse in Portland.
"The Committee on the Judiciary has jurisdiction over the Department of Justice and federal law-enforcement matters. These allegations about retaliation against federal law-enforcement personnel are concerning. You should construe this preservation notice as an instruction to take all reasonable steps to prevent the destruction or alteration, whether intentionally or negligently, of all documents, communications, and other information, including electronic information and metadata, that is or may be potentially responsive to this congressional inquiry."
"This instruction includes all electronic messages sent using official and personal accounts or devices, including records created using text messages, phone-based message applications, or encryption software," Jordan wrote.
In 2020, following the death of George Floyd, anti-police riots organized by Antifa and Black Lives Matter spread across the United States and ravaged democratic cities like Seattle and Portland.
The Trump administration deployed federal law enforcement agents from US Customs and Border Protection, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the US Marshals Service to Portland's downtown area, an order made following the siege of the federal courthouse–where violent riots lasted for months.
Congressional Democrats criticized the use of federal authorities in an attempt to appeal to left-wing activists despite the necessary need as Antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters allegedly set fires outside the federal courthouse on 42 of the 72 nights of unlawful demonstrations, Portland Police Bureau noted.
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