After it was revealed in March that federal prosecutors had thrown out over a third of its cases against Portland rioters — 31 of 90 cases stemming from last year’s lawlessness — the case-dismissal ratio has actually grown.
According to Fox News, over half of the cases against federally charged Portland rioters are being dismissed or are on track for dismissal through a deferred resolution agreement — 58 of 97 cases.
The cable network said 32 cases are still pending, and its sources indicated many of them are likely to end in dismissals. Fox News added that only seven people have entered guilty pleas — and only one is heading to prison so far.
“It’s offensive to all the men and women who risked their lives in Portland for 90 to 120 days or even longer in some cases, being attacked night after night after night,” said Chad Wolf, the acting Secretary of Homeland Security under former President Trump, according to Fox News.
Billy Williams — the U.S. Attorney for Oregon under Trump who stepped down Feb. 28 at the request of President Joe Biden’s administration — told KGW-TV that the case dismissals as initially reported were due to prosecutors not believing they could prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
“Each case was analyzed for the evidence that we had at the time,” Williams noted to the station. “Careful decisions were made on whether or not someone should be charged based on the evidence.”
And that’s pretty much what Lisa Hay, the federal public defender in Oregon, told Fox News in regard to the new case dismissal tally.
“I think the federal government went overboard in some of the ways they addressed these protests,” Hay told the cable network. “And what we’re seeing now is many of the cases that were brought because of the federal government’s overreach are now being dismissed.”
Fox News said of the 31 deferred resolution agreements, 19 were for individuals charged with felonies — and most were for alleged assaults on federal officers protecting the courthouse in Portland and other federal buildings under attack on a nightly basis
Williams signed some of the DRAs, the cable network said, while others have been signed by Scott Asphaug, acting U.S. Attorney in Oregon under Biden. Fox News said neither Williams nor Asphaug would comment in regard to this new report.
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Wolf said Williams didn’t want to file many of the criminal charges in the first place. He said Williams pushed back on pressure from the White House and Attorney General Bill Barr arguing that protest is normal in Portland and filing federal charges will only inflame the situation.
Wolf said his urging of a tougher response has been vindicated. DHS eventually pulled most of the federal officers out of Portland leaving local police and prosecutors in charge of restoring peace. But sustained calm has not returned to the Rose City. Even with a new president in the White House, the riots and property destruction have continued.
Wolf says Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is finally starting to realize that leaders can’t appease violent criminals.
Wolf added to Fox News that Wheeler has made a number of recent statements about trying to take back Portland from anarchists — “and that’s exactly what I told him in July.”