Report: DOJ Considering Federal Charges of Portland Officials over Riot Mishandling

Mayor Ted Wheeler speaks to people gathered in downtown Portland, Ore., Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Wheeler faced a hostile crowd of protesters, who screamed at and sharply questioned him as he tried to rally demonstrators who have clashed repeatedly with federal agents sent in by President Donald Trump to quell …
Gillian Flaccus/AP Photo

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is exploring whether federal charges could be imposed on officials in Portland, Oregon, where violent and deadly riots have continued mostly unchecked for more than three months, Fox News reported.

The outlet reported that while the exploration was part of the agency’s oversight of the city’s response to the ongoing unrest, DOJ could not confirm that it was investigating Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) for allowing an area of her city to be walled off and occupied:

The spokeswoman also did not confirm whether DOJ officials were focusing on specific city officials. The office of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.

President Trump has criticized Democrats, and specifically, Wheeler, who he says have not done enough to stop nights of looting and unrest in cities across the U.S. Trump has called Wheeler a “wacky Radical Left Do Nothing Democrat Mayor” and has said the city “will never recover with a fool for a Mayor….”

More than 100 people have been arrested in Portland on federal charges related to the unrest over the last few months. The FBI has said it was also shifting the agency’s resources to focus more heavily on violence and federal crimes committed during nearly three months of unrest during nightly racial injustice protests in the city that often ended in vandalism, clashes with police, and dozens of arrests.

Groups fomenting violent riots have stood down in recent days because wildfires in Oregon have resulted in smokey skies.

Federal law enforcement was deployed to Portland in July after federal officers stationed at a federal courthouse were overwhelmed by nightly attacks on property, including efforts to burn the building down. State and local officials blamed the extra officers for making matters worse, but since they withdrew from the city, the violence has continued.

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