AP featured image
A protester speaks with a Park Police officer standing guard with a line of police closing off off the area around Lafayette Park near the White House after protesters tried to topple a statue of Andrew Jackson in the park in Washington, early Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

This morning in Portland, oral arguments were scheduled to take place involving the complaint filed by the Oregon Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, last Saturday alleging violations of constitutional rights of Oregon citizens.  The lawsuit targets the actions of federal law enforcement agents of the Department of Homeland Security in making arrests/detentions of rioters at locations outside the immediate vicinity of the federal courthouse.

In reality, the feds were interfering in the well-planned decision-making of Oregon’s elected Democrat establishment to encourage the riots around the federal property in Portland by making no meaningful effort with the Portland Police Department to prevent or respond to the violence engaged in by the rioters, and by cheering them on from the sidelines through repeatedly referring to them as “peaceful protesters against racial injustice.”

The new tactics of the federal law enforcement agencies had disrupted what had been working so well, as rioters suddenly found themselves facing federal charges — several have made court appearances in recent days before federal magistrates, and indictments are likely in the next 10-14 days.  So AG Rosenblum filed a lawsuit seeking permanent injunctive relief against the effective law enforcement activity — think about that for a moment.

Today’s hearing, coming on the third court day after the filing of the complaint, is likely a hearing seeking a temporary restraining order which could last for approximately two weeks during which time the government would file papers in opposition to Oregon’s request for a preliminary injunction pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

The hearing is before Judge Michael Mosman, the Chief Judge of the District.  Emergency hearings such as this are often taken by the Chief Judge.  Whether he ends up having the case assigned to him is something I’m not sure about under the “random” assignment process used in federal courts.  It would seem to me that if he hears the TRO, he would also hear any Preliminary Injunction motion that should follow, and based on that he should be assigned the case.

Interestingly, even though it is the People’s Republic of Oregon, Judge Mosman is an appointee of Pres. Bush The Elder. [Author’s Note:  Since I first published this article, I have discovered that Judge Mossman was appointed to the bench in 2003 by Pres. Bush 43.]

Given this hearing was set for this morning, and the outcome of such matters can sometimes be unpredictable, I’m not sure it was entirely coincidental that federal law enforcement agents decided to employ new tactics last night.

Rather than travel in the general vicinity of the federal building in unmarked cars looking to make arrests some distance from the federal buildings, BORTAC (Border Patrol Tactical Units) decided to simply exit the building in full “battle” dress, wearing significant personal defense gear, and entered the streets surrounding the courthouse and take on the protesters directly in response to violent acts targeting the building and the agents.

The protesters turned out to be not as tough as all the videos of them tearing down fences and trying to pull protective coverings of glass windows made them out to me.  They scattered like roaches when the lights come on.

Earlier in the evening, the feds made liberal use of pepper gas to disperse the crowd.  The person who shot this video said laser designators were also used by the feds to “target” specific individuals for other agents who then employed non-lethal impact munitions against them.

The feds moved further away from the courthouse as they used chemical agents to break up the crowds.

Seemingly, the protesters were surprised that the “infrastructure” supporting their illegal activities — tables, food, drink, medical supplies, etc. — would be “compromised” by the federal response to the rioting.

I’ll update today’s events with another story later about the outcome of the hearing before Judge Mosman.

Given the dramatic shift in tactics that took place last night — with Portland PD being told by Mayor Wheeler to standdown — AG Rosenblum might have needed to make some changes to her notes before today’s hearing.

It will also be a test for Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy Williams, who last week called for the DHS Inspector General to investigate the detentions and arrests made by Customs & Border Protection agents.  It’s possible he could be out of a job by the end of today depending on what his office says to Judge Mosman.