In a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution hearing today, Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli and U.S. Attorney Erin Healy Cox fielded questions about the use of federal agents to quell the riots that have beset Portland for the past two months. Democrats on the committee were committed to asking about anything other than the violence perpetrated by Antifa. Instead, they spent most of their time attacking the federal agents.
Democrats took every opportunity to condemn right-wing violence stretching back years but would not acknowledge even the existence of Antifa. Republicans, on the other hand, all condemned violence equally, including the violence of white supremacists, insisting that all violence against law enforcement and all anti-government violence must be equally prosecuted.
While Sen. Ted Cruz focused his questions on Antifa violence, Democrat senators such as Mazie Hirono took their time to attack witnesses, while ignoring the issue at hand. At one point Hirono said she decried violence of all stripes. Cruz asked if that includes Antifa. Her answer? “It’s my time.” That’s a no. None of the other Democrats did much better.
Cuccinelli painted a brutal picture of violence against federal agents, including the use of mortar-style fireworks and lasers to blind federal agents. Unfortunately, Democrats on the committee showed little to no interest in these events. They insisted, as they always do, that the “secret police,” as they call our law enforcement officers, are simply infringing on the rights of peaceful protesters.
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They also claimed that when the Trump administration reached a deal to have Oregon State Police handle the situation, the violence abated. In fact, Portland police declared a riot just last night, as reports emerged of a stabbing at the protests.
The Post Millennial’s Andy Ngo testified that Antifa is very real and has targeted and viciously attacked him. Ngo alleges less-violent protesters are used as a kind of shield for the most violent of Antifa anarchists and that popular platforms like GoFundMe and Venmo are used to fund their dangerous actions. He detailed physical attacks from the rioters that landed him in the hospital.
George Washington law professor Jonathan Turley argued that Antifa is “arguably the most successful anti-free-speech organization of this generation.” Turley claimed Antifa is winning because the media and politicians, as well as universities, are essentially supporting them. Turley urged Congress to act to protect Americans’ speech rights. He added, as did Ngo, that Antifa is no myth. He held up the “Antifa Handbook” as evidence.
Brennan Center for Justice Fellow Michael German argued that Antifa is not an organization and insisted their violence is being overblown by the Trump administration. Nkenge Harmon Johnson, the president and CEO of the Portland Urban League, testified that her ancestors had been slaves and that she still does not have the full rights of an American citizen. She decried the actions of law enforcement.
She also claims white supremacists are marching through the streets of Portland. She offered no evidence to support this claim. She also claimed that police are not on the side of black Portlanders.
Kyle Shideler, a homeland security expert from the Center for Security Policy, outlined several loose organizations of Antifa including websites that help Antifa organize in 22 countries. He detailed an intricate funding system, quite a feat for an organization that Democrats say does not even exist.
What became clear is that while Republicans decry all anti-government violence, Democrats kept their heads in the sand about Antifa. The double standard plays directly into the hands of the anarchists. The biggest takeaway from the hearing was that Antifa has no better or more important ally than the Democratic Party.