The Department of Homeland Security has removed its top intelligence official who oversaw intelligence reports on journalists covering the civil unrest in Portland, Oregon, Politico reports, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The source told Politico that Brian Murphy, who has been the acting chief of DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), is “being removed from that role after a string of bruising reports about the office he runs. Over the last week, news has broken that I&A compiled intelligence reports about journalists covering protests in Portland.”
Politico cites a Washington Post report that Murphy’s office also monitored protesters’ electronic communications. Both stories raise legal concerns.
As noted by Politico, “DHS sent officers to Portland earlier this month to help protect the courthouse. But viral videos have captured their officers appearing to arrest protesters without probable cause. They have dressed in military garb and haven’t worn badges with their names or agencies––creating the optics of an occupying force. Local Portland officials decried DHS’s presence and said it made the protests even more intense.”