Portland fines DHS, for protecting federal courthouse

In an escalation of its war on Washington, officials in Portland, Oregon, have slapped a huge fine on the federal government for erecting a fence around the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse that helped protect federal officers from Molotov cocktail throwing protesters.

The complaint: The fence, seen in videos being rocked nightly by violent Black Lives Matter protesters, blocks bike lanes.

In a three-page bill to the General Services Administration, which oversees the building, Chris Warner, the director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, said the Department of Homeland Security built the fence on city property without first getting permits.

As a result, it is fining Washington $48,000 a day ($500 for every 15 minutes), bringing the total so far to about $672,000.

In the letter, he wrote, "Despite instructions on July 23rd to immediately cease and desist obstruction of the Right of Way, unpermitted fencing and barriers remain. Permits have not been issued or applied for. On SW Main St, fencing and barriers fully obstruct the bike lane, creating a hazard to the public. SW Main is a major bicycle corridor into the central business district. Further, the fencing and barriers installed around the Federal Courthouse do not provide for an accessible path from streets, sidewalks and public transportation stops to the buildings, nor do they provide an alternate path of travel, specifically for people with disabilities."

The GSA had no immediate comment.

The letter, obtained by Secrets, shows the fence on a street corner. Behind it are two pillars of the courthouse damaged by graffiti.

The letter makes no reference to the weeks of protests that Portland did not stop against federal agents sent to protect the building.

The letter is the latest slap at DHS and the Trump administration's efforts to protect the courthouse. Oregon's governor has mocked the agents inside the fence who came under attack for weeks and overstated a deal to replace them with state police.

PBOT Director Warner to GSA... by Paul Bedard on Scribd

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Paul Bedard
Paul Bedard is a longtime D.C. reporter and joined the Washington Examiner in 2012 after penning U.S. News & World Report's premiere political column, "Washington Whispers," for more than a decade. In addition to his Washington Secrets column, check out his signature feature, "Mainstream Media Scream." Be sure to follow Paul on Twitter at @SecretsBedard.