- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 22, 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says a lightning-fast lawsuit will follow any attempt by the Trump administration to use federal agents to protect the city’s federal buildings.

The Democrat made the comments Wednesday morning on MSNBC during a conversation on the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Portland, Oregon.

Federal agents moved in after weeks of chaos to quell Antifa and Black Lives Matter crowds that have torn down fences, targeted surveillance cameras, shattered windows, vandalized property and attempted to enter the structure.

“I still believe in the rule of law in this country, and we would go to court immediately,” Mr. de Blasio said after “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski asked about a similar situation occurring in The Big Apple.

“I believe what the president is doing is unconstitutional,” he said. “I thought that quote from [former Homeland Security Secretary] Tom Ridge was really important to recognize this is not the place of federal agencies to get involved in repressing the right to free speech, disrupting the right to protest, which is an American right.”

The Trump administration has countered that it has every right to protect federal property from destruction — particularly in the absence of local authorities.

Richard Cline, deputy director of the Federal Protective Service, noted on Tuesday that suspects have smashed windows and attempted to throw fireworks inside the courthouse, ABC News reported.

Still, Mr. de Blasio is confident in the legal outcome should a showdown with the federal government happen.

“What the president is doing is he’s tearing up the Constitution,” he continued. “What he did in Portland is already a horrible step in the wrong direction, and it’s been counterproductive. … If one of these federal officers steps foot in New York City with the intention of denying the First Amendment rights of New Yorkers, we will be in court immediately — and we will win because every time they’ve tried an unconstitutional act, every time the Trump administration has tried to bend the Constitution to their will, they have lost in court. And mayors all over the country feel it.”

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