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When President Trump claims that Fox News "isn't the same," perhaps he's talking in part about Judge Napolitano.
Napolitano, one of Fox's top legal experts, claimed that President Trump's crackdown on violence in Portland is "unconstitutional" and "just plain wrong."
President Trump has cast himself as the law and order president, whereas liberal mayors and governors have appeared to allow violent protesters to dominate city streets unchecked.
Anarchy and rebellion have infected streets of cities like Portland and Seattle.
But instead of criticizing the violent protesters, Napolitano attacked Trump's attempt to restore law and order.
More details below:
Napolitano's comments come after he suggested that he may order federal agents to go to cities where civil unrest has continued to go on unchecked, threatening peaceful civilians and their property.
These cities include Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia.
The Hill confirms:
Andrew Napolitano slammed the Trump administration for sending federal law enforcement to Portland in response to violent protests in Oregon's largest city, with the Fox News senior judicial analyst calling the move "unconstitutional" and "just plain wrong."
His remarks come as Portland officials have requested the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) withdraw after videos of protesters being taken off the street by federal officers in unmarked cars prompted outrage.
"You have anarchy on one hand," Napolitano said. "If the troops come in the streets, you have a potential for even more violence on the other hand.”
“What happened in Portland over the weekend, it was not only unlawful and unconstitutional, it’s just plain wrong,” the former New Jersey Superior Court judge continued. “Sending armed, untrained police into the streets wearing fatigues without the knowledge or consent of the local police actually caused more violence.”
Napolitano also talked about a complaint by Oregon's attorney general against DHS that included allegations of kidnapping and blindfolding.
“You have a lot of peaceful demonstrators,” Napolitano argued. “The complaint filed by the attorney general of Oregon against the Department of Homeland Security recounts horror stories of peaceful people being kidnapped, held blindfold, handcuffed, and incommunicado for just two hours and then let go. There is no reason to disturb those people. The people they should stop are the ones with the baseball bats.”
“The federal government can’t do what it doesn’t have the authority to do,” he added. “And it shouldn’t do anything without the coordination of the locals.”
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf told Fox News on Monday that he does not need an "invitation" from local officials before deploying federal law enforcement.
"I don't need invitations by the state, state mayors or state governors to do our job. We're going to do that, whether they like us there or not," Wolf said.
"We want to work with them, and we have a great working relationship with the vast majority of local law enforcement," he added. "However, there are some communities that, again, want to breed this environment that allows this lawlessness."
Videos went viral of federal agents in unmarked vans detaining violent protesters.
Some people complained that the use of unmarked vehicles looked like "kidnappings."
However, it is common practice for law enforcement in many jurisdictions to use unmarked vehicles. The theory is that unmarked vehicles prevent the criminals from running away like they would if they say a police car.
In his statement, Napolitano acknowledged that Portland and Seattle are a mess.
However, he claimed that only their local leaders can clean up the mess and that President Trump cannot get involved through federal force.
Fox News has more details on Napolitano's comments calling Trump's attempt to restore law and order to Portland "unconstitutional":
Federal agents in Portland, Ore., must confine their law enforcement duties to the protection of federal assets and wear uniforms that identify them, Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday.
“The federal government can use federal assets to protect federal property,” Napolitano said.
“Stated differently, the Department of Homeland Security can send police into Oregon to protect a federal courthouse in Oregon, use that as an example.”
He went on to say that the federal government cannot, however, enforce the general criminal law.
“They can't supplement or replace the police,” Napolitano explained. “They can't go throughout the streets and say, ‘Hey, you’re committing a crime. We’re going to arrest you.’”
“They certainly can't do what they have been doing in Oregon, which is arresting people without a warrant and without probable cause, holding them for a few hours and then letting them go,” he went on to explain. “So they have to be restrained and they have to confine their activity to the federal property.”
Napolitano offered the legal perspective the morning after Portland moms and dads marched in droves, joining downtown protesters on the 54th night of demonstrations that later swelled overnight amid escalating tensions with feds in the city, according to multiple reports.
Portland has experienced weeks of unrest following the May 25 death of George Floyd and the city’s mayor repeatedly called on President Trump to remove federal agents sent there to disperse crowds and protect federal property.
Trump has insisted that federal troops are needed to protect government assets in the city. The city's Democrat leadership has been criticized in its response. Daryl Turner, the head of the Portland Police Association, said Sunday, “The elected officials have condoned the destruction and chaos” in the city.
State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum claimed in court papers that masked federal officers have arrested people on the street, far from the courthouse, with no probable cause and whisked them away in unmarked cars.
“Their law enforcement duties must absolutely be confined to the protection of federal assets, so says the Constitution, which leaves the general police power in the hands of the cities and states and not the federal government,” Napolitano said on Tuesday.
He also noted that federal agents “have to wear uniforms that identify them.”
“They can't wear fatigues with a piece of tape that says ‘police.’ Why not? Because if you have an encounter with one of them, you are entitled to know the name of the human being with whom you are having an encounter,” Napolitano explained.
Napolitano did not comment on the Insurrection Act during the interview.
The Insurrection Act of 1807 allows the president to use the militar and National Guard to stop civil disorder, insurrection, and rebellion.
That appears to be exactly what we're seeing in Portland.