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EXCLUSIVE: Banks Rails At Attorney General Over DOJ Treating Portland Anarchists Better Than Capitol Rioters

Jim Banks

Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland criticizing the DOJ’s double standard in riot prosecution.


Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday criticizing his department for targeting the Jan. 6 rioters at the Capitol more fiercely than Portland anarchists who rioted for months.

“Last summer, leftist rioters killed dozens, destroyed billions of dollars in property and caused incalculable damage to America’s major cities,” wrote the Republican Study Committee chairman in a letter shared exclusively with The Federalist. “Because the criminal activity was so widespread, it’s instructive to only consider the Justice Department ‘s response to the riots in Portland, which were particularly extreme and are ongoing.”

Militant mobs torched city streets nationwide last year, igniting a summer of rage in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in late May. The first two weeks afterward saw an estimated $1-$2 billion in damage in the most destructive political violence in decades. The carnage amounted to 66 times more than the inflated initial cost of the damage to the U.S. Capitol in January, when protesters were let in by the police. More than 14,000 hours of footage remain concealed from public view.

Banks highlighted the Biden Justice Department’s prosecutorial double standards. It dropped cases against rioters in Portland who held Oregon’s largest city under siege for 100 consecutive days.

“Last Friday, the Justice Department announced it has arrested an estimated 465 people for criminal behavior related to the Capitol riot,” Banks wrote, by comparison. “Since January 6, the Justice Department has dropped just one case related to the Capitol riot.”

While Banks did not advocate abandoning the pursuit of justice, he pointed out of the 96 rioters charged in Portland from May 25 to Oct. 7 last year, 58 cases had been dropped. That’s more than 50 percent of the charges brought against Portland rioters, compared to the 0.2 percent of cases dropped against those at the Capitol.

“Attorney General Garland hasn’t created a ‘two-tiered system of justice,'” Banks told The Federalist. “He’s applied a single standard of justice to people that didn’t vote for Joe Biden, and none at all to far-left criminals.”

Former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf labeled the Antifa anarchists “domestic terrorists” in an exclusive interview with The Federalist last summer.

“What we see with them individually targeting law enforcement, individually targeting certain officials for certain reasons, that is the definition of domestic terrorism,” Wolf said, as militant social justice warriors launched mortar-style fireworks at police officers and aimed lasers at them to cause permanent blindness. Wold told Senate lawmakers in August that 277 injuries of federal officers and agents had been documented between July 4 and July 31 at the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Portland over the course of the insurrection.

In March, riots at the courthouse continued to flare at the federal courthouse when a crowd smashed windows and lit parts on fire while people remained inside.

Meanwhile, the Biden Justice Department under Garland continues to aggressively track down those present at the Capitol on Jan. 6. across the country, primarily on charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct, while it drops cases against the Portland insurrectionists.