Federal officers fire tear gas and rubber bullets at the demonstrators in Portland, Ore., on July 21. Photo: John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Thursday his office will launch an investigation into federal agents' "use of force" in Portland and the clearing of peaceful protestors in Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., including the use of chemical agents.

Why it matters: Demonstrations in Portland against police use of force have continued in the city for more than 50 days. President Trump has threatened to send federal law enforcement into other cities run by Democrats.

The big picture: House Democrats asked the DOJ's Office of Inspector General to investigate the response of federal law enforcement personnel to ongoing protests in cities across the U.S.

What they're saying: "If circumstances warrant, OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of review," Horowitz said in a letter sent Thursday to House Democratic leadership.

  • "The review will include examining the training and instruction that was provided to the DOJ law enforcement personnel; compliance with applicable identification requirements, rules of engagement, and legal authorities; and adherence to DOJ policies regarding the use of less-lethal munitions, chemical agents, and other use of force."

Go deeper: Rand Paul denounces use of federal force in Portland

Go deeper

Read: Whistleblower says officials considered using "heat ray" on D.C. protesters

Trump walking back to the White House after standing for photos outside St John's Episcopal church across from Lafayette Square on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Federal officials stockpiled ammunition at the D.C Armory and sought crowd control devices before law enforcement forcibly cleared protesters from Lafayette Square in June, a whistleblower said in written submissions to Congress.

Why it matters: D.C. National Guard Maj. Adam DeMarco's testimony is a part of a congressional investigation into law enforcement's use of force against demonstrators protesting George Floyd's death in the square.

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.