Judicial Watch: White House approved “going easy” on Occupiers breaking the law
Judicial Watch has uncovered explosive documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, that show the White House gave the go ahead to officials in the General Services Administration (GSA) to “stand down” and not arrest Occupy Portland protesters who may have been in violation of the law last year.
According to Judicial Watch, former GSA Commissioner Robert Peck apparently told the Department of Homeland Security that the White House had approved them “going easy” on the Occupiers.
In a Nov. 6, 2011, DHS/National Protection and Programs Directorate Chief of Staff Caitlin Durkovich asked GSA’s Peck if it was true that his agency had asked Federal Protective Service officials not to take action against the Occupy Portland protestors.
“Yes, that is our position,” Peck responded. “It’s been vetted with our Administrator and Michael Robertson, our chief of staff, and we have communicated with the WH [White House], which has afforded us the discretion to fashion our approach to Occupy issues…The arrests last week were carried out despite our request that the protesters [sic] be allowed to remain and to camp overnight…”
Members of Occupy Portland had been protesting for several days on GSA-owned property in the Portland area. Eleven of the protestors had chained themselves together in a downtown Portland park and were in violation of an anti camping law in the park. A splinter of the group had already claimed responsibility for vandalism at local banks. After this edict came down in early November to not pursue them, that Occupiers subsequently also threatened reporters and pushed one of them. See here.
Occupiers have been involved with multiple crimes or violations of the law across the country, resulting in over 7500 arrests, ranging from disorderly conduct to murder.
According to the Washington Examiner, the White House has made repeated denials of giving aid or encouragement to the Occupy protests. The Examiner also notes that GSA Commissioner Bob Peck was a big contributor to Democratic candidates, including to President Obama. Peck was forced to resign from GSA earlier this year after the scandal surrounding spending at a regional conference in Las Vegas.
“We now have a new GSA scandal – one that involves the Obama White House,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These documents clearly show that federal agencies colluded with the Obama White House to allow the Occupy Wall Street protestors to violate the law with impunity. These documents tell us that the GSA and DHS can’t be relied upon to protect federal workers or property.”
For more from Judicial Watch on the Occupy documents, go here.