House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has launched an investigation into DHS collecting intelligence on protesters.
Chairman Schiff wrote to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf:
Since its July 22, 2020 letter requesting documents, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (the “Committee”) has learned more about actions undertaken by Department of Homeland Security (“DHS” or the “Department”) personnel in Portland, Oregon and elsewhere, including personnel with DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis (“I&A”), an element of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Let me be clear: reporting regarding the monitoring of peaceful protesters, creating and disseminating intelligence reports about journalists and protesters, and potential exploitation of electronic devices is deeply troubling.
The revelations require a full accounting, and, if substantiated, must never be allowed to occur again. The Committee is therefore initiating, pursuant to its unique oversight and legislative authority, an investigation of I&A’s activities in Portland and in support of the Department’s response to protests nationwide.
Schiff gave DHS an August 10 deadline to turn over requested documents and he wants key witnesses made available for interviews during the month of August.
DHS will stall and try to run out the clock in the hope that Trump wins reelection, Republicans take back the House, and this investigation vanishes, but both of those things are unlikely to happen.
There are many potential crimes and violations of constitutional rights unfolding as part of Trump’s scheme to send unwanted federal agents into US cities, but the illegal gathering of intelligence on protesters who are exercising their First Amendment rights has the potential for great long-term damage.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association