Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today joined colleagues in demanding to know why the Justice Department placed three deputy U.S. Marshals (DUSMs) on limited duty and opened an investigation into a use-of-force incident during the defense of the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon in July 2020. The questions were raised in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and cosigned by Grassley and Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Kennedy (R-La.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).
“According to information that we’ve been given, these DUSMs have never been reprimanded for their actions in Portland; to the contrary, they received the Director’s Award, received outstanding or excellent evaluations in 2020, and had been subsequently deployed on numerous dangerous missions as part of the USMS Special Operations Group, including to other cities where there was anticipated civil unrest. Accordingly, the timing of this decision is inherently suspect, appears politically-motivated, and smacks of retaliation,” the senators wrote.
“In addition, before they were confirmed, Associate Attorney General, Vanita Gupta, and Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, Kristen Clarke, made concerning comments about the riots at the Portland courthouse that could create a conflict with their involvement in any decision relating to these DUSMs,” the senators continued.
The full letter can be found HERE.