Tom Cotton sent a letter to the Attorney General, saying that he was told “the DOJ might not pay for the defense for the “brave officers” attacked by street terrorists with weapons like blinding lasers, ball bearings, and mortar fire.”
“Refusing to defend these Deputy Marshalls would go against the Department’s routine practice —also its moral duty — to defend officers of law-enforcement when they are sued for their actions in the line of duty,” Cotton wrote. “I hope these reports are wrong.”
He also said that the DOJ had to confirm that they are either defending the marshals or paying the cost for their private legal counsel, or to “explain why you are not.”
Tom Cotton said that if he does not get a “satisfactory and timely” answer, he will “be forced to object to Department nominees both on the Senate floor and in the Judiciary Committee.”
After the death of George Floyd back in May 2020, The federal courthouse in Portland became a place of nightly attacks from BLM rioters and from Antifa.
A number of lawsuits were filed against United States Marshalls after the violence in the city, for excessive use of force.
The Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, that represents the four deputy marshals that was sued by protestors, stated to Fox News that one deputy was completely denied legal defense by the DOJ.
“After careful review and consideration of the current information, I have decided that representation will not be in the interest of the U. S.. Therefore, the request for defense is denied,” the DOJ wrote.
The DOJ stated to the New York Post that Tom Cotton’s request is being reviewed and will receive a timely answer.
The DOJ also said that it is defending several federal employees facing lawsuits because of the riots in Portland and that only one person was denied legal defense.
“The department has represented or has funded the defense of over seventy federal employees who have been sued because of the events in Portland,” a spokesperson told the Post. “The department has turned down legal representation for just one federal employee in these cases.”