Reps. Eshoo and Rush Demand Inspector General Investigation of Protester Surveillance in Portland

September 23, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) wrote to the Inspectors General of the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and the Intelligence Community urging them to investigate reports that the federal government wiretapped cell phone communications of protesters in Portland, Oregon.

“We are extremely troubled by recent press reports alleging that elements of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) wiretapped cell phone communications of protesters in Portland, Oregon. If these allegations are true, they are an afront to our civil liberties and potentially federal law,” said Eshoo and Rush. “We ask that the three offices you lead jointly investigate these allegations immediately and expeditiously.”

Full text of the letter can be found HERE.

Background

Reps. Eshoo and Rush sent wrote a letter signed by 35 Members of Congress to the heads of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Guard Bureau, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on June 9th demanding that the agencies immediately stop surveillance of peaceful protesters around the country. This letter led to an investigation by the Air Force Inspector General of the National Guard’s use of aerial surveillance over protests.

Reps. Eshoo and Rush sent follow up letters to the FBI and CBP on July 17th.