Aug 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Schiff announces probe into DHS intelligence activities in Portland

Adam Schiff

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The House Intelligence Committee will investigate the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis over reports that officials have targeted protesters and journalists in Portland and other cities, chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) announced Monday.

Driving the news: DHS reassigned its top intelligence official, acting Undersecretary Brian Murphy, after his office analyzed communications between Portland protesters and supplied law enforcement with lists of journalists that had published leaked agency documents, the Washington Post first reported.

What they're saying: "Let me be clear: reporting regarding the monitoring of peaceful protesters, creating and disseminating intelligence reports about journalists and protesters, and potential exploitation of electronic devices is deeply troubling," Schiff wrote in a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Monday.

The big picture: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) said last week that the Trump administration had agreed to a "phased withdrawal" of Customs and Border Protection and ICE agents from Portland, after weeks of protests and attacks on the city's federal courthouse and accusations from Democrats that federal law enforcement was escalating violence.

  • President Trump tweeted over the weekend that the agency would not leave Portland "until local police complete cleanup of Anarchists and Agitators," which acting Homeland secretary Chad Wolf retweeted.
  • When Brown first announced the agreement, Wolf said that Homeland Security personnel would stay in Portland "until we are assured that the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and other federal properties will no longer be attacked."

Read the letter.

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