WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Trump’s recent rollout of Operation Legend has many U.S. lawmakers on edge.
The order calls for federal police officers to be sent to cities around the country where nightly demonstrations continue to flare up. Cities like Kansas City, Chicago and Albuquerque are among those being targeted by the Trump administration.
Though Operation Legend’s implementation follows days of violent clashes between federal police officers and protesters in Portland, the administration said the order is not directly related. According to White House officials, Operation Legend is centered around a rise in crime around the entire country.
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley said how this is all unfolding feels unprecedented.
“There are few issues that rise as high as the new development of a president in our democratic republic using secret troops, almost a personal militia in a dictator-style fashion.”
Trump’s actions has sparked Merkley and other Democrats to produce new legislation banning the use of unmarked cars and uniforms by federal agents. Merkley said the push to halt Trump’s efforts are becoming more and more bipartisan.
“I talked to a number of colleagues in the Senate, across the aisle, who very much support ending this tactic by the administration.”
Republican leaders blocked a vote on the bill Tuesday over concerns it would put them at odds with Trump’s stance on crime.