Federal agents would be “hailed as liberators'” if a Democratic administration deployed them, former House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said Monday.
In an interview on “The Daily Briefing” with guest host Trace Gallagher, Gowdy argued that President Trump’s decision to enlist federal agents, including the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group, to protect federal property in Portland would be applauded if ordered by a Democratic president.
“They would be held as triumphant liberators,” Gowdy said.
“The issue is jurisdiction. There are some crimes that are exclusively state and local, there are some crimes exclusively federal, and then this broad category where the jurisdiction is concurrent, it exists in both places,” he explained.
Over the weekend, rioters broke into the Portland Police Association building and set it on fire, as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd intensified for another night, according to Portland police.
The latest attack comes after federal agents, including the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and an elite U.S. Customs and Border Protection team based on the U.S.-Mexico border, entered Portland to protect federal property at Trump’s direction, a move strongly opposed by Mayor Ted Wheeler.
Wheeler, a Democrat, fired back at the administration on Friday, claiming that the presence of federal law enforcement in his city was exacerbating the situation, and urged acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to “Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city.”
Gowdy suggested that those unhappy with the federal presence should “quit committing crimes,” and encouraged Wheeler to crack down on his constituents.
“If the crooks don’t want federal law enforcement in Portland, then quit committing federal crimes, quit violating the federal statute,” he said. “That’s my advice to the mayor. If you don’t want the cops there, then tell your constituents to stop violating federal law.”