Sen. Ted Cruz—who lives in Texas—is continuing his crusade against Portland in an attempt to rally his base.
Yesterday afternoon, Sen. Ted Cruz sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr and the FBI calling for an investigation into Mayor Ted Wheeler for "violating Oregonians' civil rights" by showing sympathy toward anti-fascist activist groups (more popularly known as "antifa").
"You are surely aware that Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has staunchly refused to deploy and support local law enforcement to restore order and prevent Antifa robberies and armed assaults," Cruz writes. "It is no mystery why: Antifa's violence is aimed to silence dissent from authoritarian left-wing views."
Cruz starts his letter by requesting a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) investigation into Rose City Antifa, suggesting that Portland's antifa organization is a criminal enterprise.
Cruz is feeding off the irate right-wing response to a June 29 rally in downtown Portland. The protest, which drew both alt-right and left-wing activists, attracted national attention after a conservative writer was injured by people associated with antifa. Cruz cites this attack, and property damage that occurred in the November 2016 rallies that followed Donald Trump's election, as evidence of Rose City Antifa's criminal ties.
"This is an ongoing criminal enterprise with a continuing pattern of racketeering activity that intends to commit future crimes," Cruz writes.
Curiously, Cruz fails to mention the violence committed by members of right-wing extremists in Portland. Just last week, a county judge sentenced Proud Boy Donovan Flippo for assaulting a Portland man in 2018.
Cruz says Wheeler should be held responsible for allowing antifa to organize in Portland.
"Wheeler has refused to quell Antifa intimidation and riots based on his apparent sympathy with these left-wing aims," Cruz writes. He goes on to compare Wheeler to politicians who once discouraged law enforcement from responding to Klu Klux Klan violence.
This isn't the first time Cruz has specifically targeted Wheeler for being a silent ally of antifa—which appears to be an easy way to gain political momentum. Meanwhile, members of antifa inside Portland city limits have accused Wheeler of directing Portland Police Bureau (PPB) to be soft on alt-right protesters.
Wheeler hasn't responded to Cruz's announcement yet. But when Cruz first warned Wheeler of requesting this investigation in early July, he sent this response on Twitter:
At least get your facts straight. I ordered no such thing.
Could you divert some of those investigation dollars to something that would actually benefit American cities? Infrastructure, affordable housing, mental health services come to mind. https://t.co/btI14p8fkJ
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) July 2, 2019