Federal police make an arrest as they confront protesters in front of the federal courthouse in downtown Portland, Ore., on Sunday.

Democratic mayors in Portland, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Kansas City and Albuquerque urged congressional leaders in a letter Monday to make it illegal for the federal government to deploy militarized federal agents to cities that oppose such action.

Driving the news: The Trump administration is looking at deploying more federal agents to Portland, Oregon, following unrest during protests over the weekend, according to multiple reports.

  • Federal agents "repeatedly fired what appeared to be tear gas, flash bangs and pepper balls at protesters outside the federal courthouse in downtown in Portland" early Monday after some activists "shot fireworks" and climbed a fence surrounding the building, AP reports.
  • Democratic mayors in Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, Portland, Kansas City, and Washington, D.C., wrote a letter to congressional leaders and the Trump administration last week that accused federal agents of escalating violence against civilians.

What they're saying: In their letter, the mayors criticized the Trump administration for "authorizing the deployment of riot-gear clad forces" to cities including Washington, D.C., Portland, Seattle without local authorities' consent.

  • "This administration's egregious use of federal force on cities over the objections of local authorities should never happen," they added.

The other side: Axios has contacted the Trump administration for comment. President Trump tweeted Monday, "Homeland Security or Federal Forces are little involved in Seattle, other than we have a large standby team in case of emergency. The media is calling that one wrong also. In Portland, we are protecting Federal property, including the Courthouse, which wouldn't last a day!"

  • Attorney General Bill Barr will address the issue of federal agents in cities in opening remarks to the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, where he will refer to those involved in unrest during protests as "rioters" and tell lawmakers they should "condemn violence against federal officers and destruction of federal property."

Go deeper: Liberal cities resist as Trump stakes his re-election hopes on "law and order"

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Updated Jul 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Read: Barr's opening statement attacking Dems and "bogus" Russia probe

Attorney General Bill Barr before addressing a summit in Washington, DC, in Marc. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr is set to accuse House Judiciary Committee Democrats of trying to discredit him over his investigations into the origins of the FBI's Russia probe when he appears before the panel Tuesday.

Details: In prepared remarks released Monday, Barr states that since he announced his investigation into what he calls "the grave abuses involved in the bogus 'Russiagate' scandal, many of the Democrats on this Committee have attempted to discredit" him by "conjuring up a narrative" that he's simply President Trump's "factotum who disposes of criminal cases according to his instructions."

27 mins ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: Fear of voting

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±3.0% margin of error for the total sample; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to worry about in-person voting — with nearly two in three seeing it as a large or moderate risk to their health — according to this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This could pose a significant disadvantage for Joe Biden and other Democratic candidates in November if the pattern holds — especially in states where high infection rates persist, or where there are significant hurdles to mail-in, absentee or early voting.

Trump: Coronavirus is "under control"

President Trump said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that he thinks the coronavirus is as well-controlled in the U.S. as it can be, despite dramatic surges in new infections over the course of the summer and more than 150,000 American deaths.

  • “They are dying, that's true. And you have — it is what it is. But that doesn't mean we aren't doing everything we can. It's under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague,” he told Axios' Jonathan Swan.