Amid the clashes between protestors and federal officers in downtown Portland, Ore., the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — which deployed the agents — created intelligence reports on a pair of journalists that it claims reported on leaked, unclassified information regarding the tense situation, according to The Washington Post.
The reports, which have been obtained by the Post, included images of tweets from the journalists and detailed information about the posts.
Known as Open Source Intelligence Reports, the documents were created by DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis.
One of the leaked memos offered damning insight into the department’s struggle to grasp the reasons powering the protests. The memo said that DHS agents on the ground in Portland have relied on financial intelligence and “Baseball cards” of arrested protestors to better assess the situation. “Baseball cards” have historically been used by the U.S. intelligence community as background information on suspected terrorists.
In the same vein, officials told the Post that Open Source Intelligence Reports have not been traditionally been created to profile American citizens that don’t have connections to terrorists or other violent actors and are engaged in exercising their rights protected by the First Amendment. Reportedly, the reports are usually utilized to share the department’s analysis with federal law enforcement agencies and others.
“This has no operational value whatsoever,” John Sandweg, former acting general counsel for DHS, told the paper. “This will just damage the intelligence office’s reputation.”
DHS said in a statement that the reports were “produced under pre-established classified intelligence reporting requirements that are developed through a rigorous process to include legal and Intelligence oversight guidelines.”
Federal officers have been in Portland since late June, deployed by acting DHS Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfOregon governor says some federal officers are leaving Portland Trump blasts Oregon officials over Portland protests Warren calls for pledge of no deployment of federal agents on protesters if Trump refuses to leave office MORE to protect city’s federal courthouse, which has been sustained damage from the demonstrations. Black Lives Matter protests have rocked the area around the courthouse since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police at the end of May, equating to more than 60 days of protesting.
The Trump administration has repeatedly lauded the performance of the officers, though protesters have increasingly blasted their presence in the city. For weeks, protesters and agents have clashed, with officers firing tear gas to disperse the crowds, while protesters have set off fireworks and started fires close to the courthouse.
“She must clear out, and in some cases arrest, the Anarchists & Agitators in Portland,” Trump tweeted in reference to Brown. “If she can’t do it, the Federal Government will do it for her. We will not be leaving until there is safety!”
The president’s tweet came after Brown on Wednesday announced that she had reached an agreement with the White House that would see federal agents leave the city.