July 29, 2020 at 1:42 PM EDT
Trump administration and Oregon governor reach agreement on deescalation of Portland protests
The governor of Oregon and the Trump administration announced Wednesday an agreement aimed at de-escalating tensions outside the federal courthouse in Portland, where federal agents have repeatedly clashed with demonstrators during nightly unrest.
As part of the agreement, officials said most Department of Homeland Security agents would move away from what have become the front lines around the courthouse and then withdraw from Portland entirely if the nightly rioting ceases.
But the specific timing of how this would play out remained unclear. Gov. Kate Brown (D) said the agents would leave downtown Thursday and the city soon thereafter, while acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf said that federal officials would pull back from Portland “should circumstances on the ground significantly improve” as state troopers move to protect the courthouse.
The uncertainty came as intense showdowns have continued between protesters and federal agents in Oregon’s biggest city, drawing criticism from local officials and scrutiny from two inspectors general. The Trump administration has defended its response as a necessary move to keep people from attacking the courthouse.
By Mark Berman and Nick Miroff