Press Releases

Nadler, Smith, Thompson Joint Statement on Trump Administration's Action in Portland

Washington, July 20, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, today issued the following statement after the Trump Administration continued to use violent tactics against protestors in Portland, Oregon throughout the weekend.

“Our nation is at a crossroads, and as Americans across the country exercise their First Amendment rights, the Trump Administration has repeatedly deployed federal law enforcement officials to try to silence them. Americans are watching the latest deeply disturbing use of federal law enforcement in Portland, Oregon.

“We find it particularly troubling that in Portland, many of these federal officers have apparently been patrolling the streets in unmarked vehicles and arresting protestors off the street – in some cases without probable cause and without reading their Miranda rights – all while donning what appears to be military uniforms.

“These alarming actions beg a number of serious questions. Was it the intent of the Trump Administration to make it seem as though the U.S. military is being deployed to control a U.S. city? Are they completely ignorant about the optics of the situation?

“We’ve been down this road before. The Trump Administration continues to weaponize federal law enforcement for its own agenda. Like we saw in Lafayette Park, rather than supporting and protecting the American people, we are witnessing the oppression of peaceful protestors by our own government.

“Not only do their action undermine civil rights and sow fear and discord across the country, but in this case, they sully the reputation of members of our Armed Forces who were not involved.

“This is simply unacceptable, and it must stop. We need answers and accountability for the actions by federal law enforcement in Portland, and we need to continue to find ways to rein in the Trump Administration’s growing militarization and misuse of federal law enforcement against the American people.”

Yesterday, Chairmen Nadler and Thompson, along with Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), sent a letter to the Inspectors General of the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security demanding an immediate investigation into the Trump Administration's use of violent tactics against peaceful protestors in Washington D.C., Portland, Oregon, and elsewhere around the country.