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Rand Paul: 'No place' for feds 'rounding people up at will' in Portland

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul says Fauci owes parents and students an apology over pandemic measures Grassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus Congress set for chaotic year-end sprint MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday spoke out against federal officers “rounding people up at will” in Portland, Ore., saying the handling of unrest there should be left to local law enforcement.

“We cannot give up liberty for security. Local law enforcement can and should be handling these situations in our cities but there is no place for federal troops or unidentified federal agents rounding people up at will,” Paul tweeted Monday.

The senator linked to a post on the conservative blog HotAir about reports of protesters in Portland being detained by officers in unmarked vans. The link criticizes the federal officers' presence as attempting to convey "to vandals, protesters, whoever, that there’ll be no accountability for anything these guys end up doing to them."

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The Department of Homeland Security has deployed the forces to the city over the objections of local and state officials, with both President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE and acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli saying they could take similar steps in other U.S. cities in coming weeks.

Three House Democratic chairs on Sunday wrote to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Homeland Security Department Inspector General Joseph Cuffari calling for an investigation into the deployment.

“The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appear to have increasingly abused emergency authorities to justify the use of force against Americans exercising their right to peaceful assembly,” wrote House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerThis week: Congress races to wrap work for the year Top Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn MORE (D-N.Y.), Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonDangerously fast slaughter speeds are putting animals, people at greater risk during COVID-19 crisis House Democrats subpoena private prison operator in forced hysterectomy case Trump relents as GSA informs Biden transition to begin MORE (D-Miss.) and Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyThis week: Congress races to wrap work for the year House Democrats subpoena private prison operator in forced hysterectomy case Overnight Health Care: Biden team to begin getting COVID briefings | Fauci says he would 'absolutely' serve on Biden's COVID task force | Major glove factories close after thousands test positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-N.Y.).