Congressional Democrats have condemned in harsh terms the Department of Homeland Security agents President Donald Trump deployed to Portland over the July 4 weekend to quash incidents of civil unrest associated with mass demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality.
Critics of the administration have likened the federal force to secret police and characterized their intervention as fascistic — pointing to the officers’ ambiguous military-style clothing, aggressive treatment of protesters, and controversial tactics such as loading Americans into unmarked vehicles.
“Unidentified stormtroopers. Unmarked cars. Kidnapping protesters and causing severe injuries in response to graffiti. These are not the actions of a democratic republic,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter earlier this month. “@DHSgov’s actions in Portland undermine its mission. Trump & his stormtroopers must be stopped.”
Although administration officials have denounced Democratic descriptions of the federal officers, Republican lawmakers and prominent conservatives used similarly fierce language to decry what they viewed as unnecessary force in the FBI’s January 2019 arrest of Roger Stone.
“These are Gestapo tactics,” Stone, Trump’s longtime informal political adviser, said at the time.