House Republicans urge FBI to investigate funding behind recent riots

EXCLUSIVE: A number of House Republicans are urging the FBI to investigate who has been funding the recent riots across the country and bring federal charges against those who they say are “aiding and abetting” criminal activity.

“The Department of Justice and FBI’s leadership is needed to bring to justice those who have funded these criminal organizations and to give justice to the communities who have been devastated by these individuals and organizations,” reads the letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, signed by Rep. Andy Biggs., R-Ariz., along with nearly two dozen other Republicans.


Riots tore through a number of cities across the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody in May. Against the backdrop of peaceful protests, the riots caused significant damage and injuries in cities like New York City, Chicago and Portland, Ore.

Republicans have zeroed in on the left-wing organizations behind the violence, such as Antifa. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, held a hearing last month into Antifa’s role in the riots, while in the House, Biggs has taken a number of measures to probe who is funding the violence.


“Many cities across our country have been rocked by rioters associated with Antifa and other organizations,” the letter says. “These individuals seem to be using cowardly efforts to commandeer otherwise peaceful protests. These actions constitute domestic terrorism and federal charges must be brought against those who are aiding and abetting the criminal actions of these organizations.”

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., who signed the letter, also sent a letter to the Department of Justice last week, asking it to look into the source of funding for recent riots and Antifa-related activities.

Other representatives who signed the letter, which urges the FBI to act “expeditiously,” include Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Doug Collins, R-Ga., and Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz. It notes that Attorney General William Barr has said that Antifa and other extremist groups “have been involved in instigating and participating in the violent activity.”

The letter comes days after an estimate that the summer riots will be the costliest in insurance history – between $1 billion and $2 billion.


On Monday, the DOJ identified New York City, Portland and Seattle as “local governments that are permitting anarchy, violence, and destruction in American cities.”

President Trump had targeted the cities, asking for a review of federal funding to “anarchist” jurisdictions. The DOJ memo serves as notice that New York City, Portland and Seattle meet the criteria Trump set out for potential defunding.

Fox News’ Morgan Phillips and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.

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Oregon Republican Lawmakers React to Arrest of Dem House Speaker’s Aide in Portland Riots

Republicans in the Oregon legislature are accusing Democrats of sanctioning “lawlessness” after the arrest of a top aide to the Democratic Oregon House speaker this month during protests that devolved into riots in downtown Portland.

A photojournalist reacts as riot police fire tear gas in Portland, Ore., September 5, 2020.

© Carlos Barria/Reuters
A photojournalist reacts as riot police fire tear gas in Portland, Ore., September 5, 2020.

Kristina Narayan, who serves as legislative director for Oregon House Speaker Representative Tina Kotek, was arrested late at night on Saturday, September 5 and charged with interfering with a police officer after Portland Police declared a riot.

“Kristina Narayan was arrested for Interfering with a Police Officer after the event became a riot and the crowd was given multiple orders to disperse, which she did not do,” a Portland police department spokesperson said.

Narayan, 29, has worked for Kotek since September, 2016 and has served as the House speaker’s legislative director since May, 2018, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Republican state lawmakers in Oregon criticized their colleagues across the aisle for declining to denounce the ongoing nightly violence wracking Portland, and accused Democratic lawmakers of protecting their staffers and supporters who participate in the riots.

“The Democrat supermajority in Oregon have had instances where their publicly-employed staff have been involved in the violent riots and looting in downtown Portland,” said GOP state Senator Dennis Linthicum, who represents the southeast city of Klamath Falls.

“Knowing this, it becomes obvious why Democrats in Oregon and across the nation have not stood up for law enforcement and condemned the lawlessness in the streets because within these Democrat-controlled cities — they would be alienating their own staff members who are participating in the riots,” Linthicum said.

Republican Oregon Senator Alan Olsen agreed, adding that Democratic lawmakers in the state “despise” the very police protecting them.

“Oregon Democrats are the party of lawlessness because instead of denouncing the violence, they largely have remained silent. The top Democrat leaders are protected by the police but despise and have absolute animosity towards them,” said Olsen, who represents Canby, a city just south of Portland.

“It’s obvious that Oregon Democrats are protecting their own extremist staffers and supporters over innocent Oregonians who are the collateral damage of over 100 days of violence,” Olsen added.

Narayan’s arrest came a week after pro-Trump demonstrator Aaron Danielson was fatally shot in the chest during clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and a caravan of pro-Trump demonstrators who drove through the streets of downtown Portland. Two days later, Portland Police declared a riot after about 200 demonstrators marched to Mayor Ted Wheeler’s residence to demand that he resign as violent demonstrations continue to rock the city.

Kotek’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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