Report: Trump poised to send additional federal agents to protect courthouse in Portland

Nearly every night for two months, the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon has been targeted by rioters, and as damage to the building mounts, many of the federal agents assigned to protect it have been injured in clashes with the protesters.

The Trump administration had already bolstered the presence of federal protective agents at the courthouse in mid-July, but now it appears that even more reinforcements could soon be on the way to Portland, The Hill reported.

Those federal agents could be comprised of up to 100 additional U.S. Marshals Service deputies as well as an additional 50 Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents dispatched to the besieged city by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Supplemental measures considered

The news of the 100 extra U.S. Marshals deputies potentially being sent to Portland was initially reported by The Washington Post after the outlet allegedly obtained an internal email from the Marshals Service.

The news about the 50 CBP agents was reportedly relayed to the Post by an unnamed senior administration official said to be involved in the federal response.

The additional agents would be a supplement to the estimated 114 federal law enforcement agents — as of mid-July — already been assigned to protect the federal courthouse that has been under a sustained and targeted attack for weeks.

The Post also noted that in response to the violent mob’s adaptation to the federal agents’ tactics, there were concerns among some federal officials that the number of agents already on the ground was insufficient, and that there has been discussion of building an enhanced perimeter around the building.

Just in case

The Hill reported that a spokesperson for the Marshals Service, Drew Wade, said in a statement that the additional personnel have not yet been dispatched to Portland and that — at least as of now — the agency has simply taken “steps to identify up to 100 personnel to send to the District of Oregon in case they were needed to relieve or supplement deputies permanently stationed in the district.”

Wade added of the reinforcements, “They may also be used to rotate with personnel already sent there to support district operations during the civil unrest mission to ensure the function and safety of judicial proceedings.”

In other words, the additional personnel may not actually amount to an increased number of federal agents on the ground at any one time but rather would serve to relieve and replace agents who have been under attack on a nightly basis.

Simple calculation

Meanwhile, as the Trump administration considers sending reinforcements into Portland to bolster the defense of the federal courthouse, local and state authorities have attempted to further handcuff an already-hamstrung police force by demanding that the agents abandon the courthouse, something that would essentially cede to the rioters.

The administration has made it clear, however, that it has no intention of leaving the courthouse undefendeduntil it is no longer under seize by a raging mob — a fairly simple concept that the left seems incapable of grasping.

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