The Trump Administration has stated it will not cooperate with Congressional oversight of DHS activities, including its deployment of Trump’s “little green men” in Portland, Oregon.
These motley federal “police forces” under the direct command of Attorney General William Barr, who moved about in unmarked vehicles, without identifying insignia, grabbed people off the street without probable cause, took them to a detention facility, and then released them without bringing charges, in a significant number of cases. This was blatantly unconstitutional conduct.
Shane Harris, “DHS says it won’t make officials available for questioning in House probe of Portland protests,” Washington Post, September 14, 2020, (9:26 p.m. EDT).
The Observer has worked on Human Rights and Access to Justice issues in a number of countries, including those ruled by authoritarian regimes. The Observer has taught a course on Human Rights and transitions from authorittarian regimes at Harvard Law School. The Observer has worked as a senior staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States in Washinton, D.C., and processed complaints from citizens in countries with authoritarian regimes in a number of countrries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Trump Administration’s actions in Portland and its refusal to accept constitutional oversight by Congress is exactly the kind of behavior one would expect to see in an authoritarian country. If allowed to go unchecked, it will impel us further down the slope leading to fascism. In America.
Without delay, the House Democrats should issue subpoenas to the officials called to testify, and if they do not appear move quickly to enforce the subpoenas in federal court and/or directly with their own sanctions for defying a Congressional subpoena.
The Trenchant Observer