Trump’s fascist government response to Congressional review of fascist police actions in Portland

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.

See,
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

About the Author

The Observer
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by The Observer, an international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, The Observer has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. The Observer speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, The Observer has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on the best articles that have appeared in the blog.

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