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Photo: Ankur Dholakia/AFP/Getty Images

The chairs of the House Oversight, Judiciary and Homeland Security committees on Sunday called on the inspectors general of the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to open an investigation into the Trump administration's use of federal agents against protesters in Portland, Oregon.

Why it matters: The House Democrats say the agencies "appear to have increasingly abused emergency authorities to justify the use of force against Americans exercising their right to peaceful assembly," pointing to reports of unidentified federal agents arbitrarily detaining protesters in unmarked vans.

  • President Trump and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf have defended the use of federal law enforcement, claiming that violent anarchists have overtaken the city and defaced federal property.
  • Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on Sunday called the reported actions of federal law enforcement "abhorrent" and "unconstitutional."

The big picture: Trump faced similar criticisms over the excessive use of force when federal troops cleared peaceful protesters outside of the White House so that he could walk to the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo op.

What they're saying: "This is a matter of utmost urgency. Citizens are concerned that the Administration has deployed a secret police force, not to investigate crimes but to intimidate individuals it views as political adversaries, and that the use of these tactics will proliferate throughout the country. Therefore, we ask that you commence your review of these issues immediately."

  • "The legal basis for this use of force has never been explained—and, frankly, it is not at all clear that the Attorney General and the Acting Secretary are authorized to deploy federal law enforcement officers in this manner."
  • "The Acting Secretary appears to be relying on an ill-conceived executive order meant to protect historic statues and monuments as justification for arresting American citizens in the dead of night."

Worth noting: U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon Billy Williams has also called for an investigation into the use of federal agents in Portland.

Read the full request via DocumentCloud.

Go deeper

Trump appointee resigns over order removing job protections for some federal workers

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Federal Salary Council Chair Ron Sanders resigned on Monday over President Trump’s recent executive order that strips civil service protections for some federal workers.

Why he's saying: Sanders, who was appointed by Trump in 2017, said he could no longer work for the president as “a matter of conscience.”

2 hours ago - Health

India crosses 1 billion COVID vaccinations milestone

A health worker inoculates a COVID-19 vaccine dose to a man wearing face mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beawar, India, in September. Photo: Sumit Saraswat/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Thursday that the country's health workers have now administered more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines doses.

Of note: While this is a significant milestone for the country of 1.4 billion, which has been devastated by the coronavirus, only about 30% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, per AP. Roughly 75% has received at least one dose.

Trump says he plans to launch new social media network in 2022

Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to launch a social media network called "Truth Social," and that it would go public via a SPAC.

Why it matters: Most ex-presidents are focused on their legacies, by creating presidential libraries or engaging in philanthropic endeavors. Trump, however, remains consumed by social media.