Light­foot says she was told there’s no Port­land-style strike force headed to city, but with sit­u­a­tion fluid, mayor, gov, at­tor­ney gen­eral work­ing on le­gal strat­egy

Chicago Sun-Times - - FRONT PAGE - BY LYNN SWEET AND FRAN SPIELMAN Staff Re­porters

Mayor Lori Light­foot said Tues­day she was told there is no “Port­land-style de­ploy­ment” of fed­eral agents headed to Chicago — a sig­nal also sent by the White House — keep­ing her guard up as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is sched­uled to de­liver re­marks on fight­ing crime on Wed­nes­day.

White House Press Sec­re­tary Kayleigh McE­nany hinted at the Tues­day brief­ing fed­eral agents work­ing with Op­er­a­tion Leg­end may be sent to Chicago. Trump’s Wed­nes­day guid­ance said he will be de­liv­er­ing re­marks on Op­er­a­tion Leg­end, com­bat­ing “vi­o­lent crime in Amer­i­can cities.”

The Jus­tice De­part­ment is ex­pected to an­nounce the ex­pan­sion of that vi­o­lent-crime ini­tia­tive. It is through Op­er­a­tion Leg­end that At­tor­ney Gen­eral Wil­liam Barr ear­lier sent more than 100 agents from the FBI, U.S. Mar­shals Ser­vice, DEA and ATF to help state and lo­cal law en­force­ment, be­gin­ning in Kansas City, Mis­souri.

At the brief­ing, McE­nany said Trump has “of­fered his help, and we en­cour­age the mayor to take it and to be forth­right about the sit­u­a­tion in her [city], much like the gov­er­nor of Mis­souri was in work­ing with us on Op­er­a­tion Leg­end to pro­tect the peo­ple of Mis­souri,” McE­nany said.

With an un­pre­dictable Trump, Light­foot, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and Illi­nois At­tor­ney Gen­eral Kwame Raoul are leav­ing noth­ing to chance.

The three Democrats had a phone con­fer­ence Mon­day af­ter­noon to map strat­egy with their le­gal teams, the Sun-Times has learned.

“I’m also not naïve. And we’re gonna be dili­gent. We’re gonna be ready. And if we need to stop them, we are go­ing to,” Light­foot said.

Chicago re­mains on guard as fed­eral agents stay in Port­land over the protests of that city’s mayor and the Ore­gon gov­er­nor. Fed­eral of­fi­cers in Port­land — not wear­ing uni­forms — pa­trolled city streets, clash­ing with demon­stra­tors and mak­ing ar­rests.

The Illi­nois and Ore­gon gover­nors and Chicago and Port­land may­ors and the sen­a­tors from both states are Democrats.

Trump is us­ing the lead­ers of Chicago and Port­land as prox­ies for pre­sump­tive Demo­cratic nom­i­nee Joe Bi­den as he ac­cuses “lib­eral” Democrats and Bi­den of be­ing soft on crime.

In mul­ti­ple de­vel­op­ments on


† Light­foot said she has talked to John Lausch, the U.S. at­tor­ney in Chicago. Based on that con­ver­sa­tion, “What I un­der­stand at this point — and I caveat that — is that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is not go­ing to fool­ishly de­ploy un­named agents to the streets of Chicago,” the mayor said. “As I un­der­stand it, what we will be get­ting are some ad­di­tional re­sources in the FBI, the DEA and the ATF.”

The mayor made her re­marks at an un­re­lated news con­fer­ence out­side Guar­an­teed Rate Field.

“What we will re­ceive is re­sources that are go­ing to plug into the ex­ist­ing fed­eral agen­cies that we work with on a reg­u­lar ba­sis to help man­age and sup­press vi­o­lent crime in our city,” she said. “Un­like what hap­pened in Port­land, the U.S. at­tor­ney him­self, John Lausch, is in the loop and will help man­ag­ing the ad­di­tional re­sources.”

Light­foot said she’s all for an “ac­tual part­ner­ship” with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. She ac­knowl­edged there are “some things the feds are uniquely qual­i­fied to do, and we would wel­come that.”

Light­foot said she has known Lausch for more than 20 years. They once worked to­gether as as­sis­tant fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors.

But, the mayor noted that the in­for­ma­tion that Lausch gave her is “only as good as” what he has been told. She won’t “put any­thing past” the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

† Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duck­worth plus Rep. Je­sus “Chuy” Gar­cia and Rep. Danny Davis — all Illi­nois Democrats — warned the White House on Tues­day not to send cam­ou­flaged “se­cret po­lice” to Chicago.

† Pritzker, at a press con­fer­ence in Collinsvil­le, said he called the act­ing sec­re­tary of the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity and was told “he couldn’t pos­si­bly get back to me un­til about 48 hours from now.”

“That’s ridicu­lous,” Pritzker said. If the White House sends agents, “They need to an­swer to the gov­er­nor of the state, to the mayor of the city of Chicago, to the at­tor­ney gen­eral of the state of Illi­nois.

† At the White House brief­ing, McE­nany, when asked about agents be­ing sent to Chicago, said, “I think you’re get­ting ahead of the pres­i­dent here.

“He’s made no an­nounce­ments as to who’s go­ing where. He’s very dis­cour­aged by the vi­o­lence that he’s seen in Chicago.”

McE­nany did not men­tion that Light­foot sent Trump a let­ter Mon­day night in which the mayor wrote, “I would be happy to have my team sit down with yours” to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion in Chicago.

“I’M ALSO NOT NAÏVE. AND WE’RE GONNA BE DILI­GENT. WE’RE GONNA BE READY. AND IF WE NEED TO STOP THEM, WE ARE GO­ING TO.” MAYOR LORI LIGHT­FOOT, on keep­ing a ‘‘Port­land-style de­ploy­ment’’ of fed­eral agents from com­ing to Chicago


Fed­eral agents use crowd con­trol mu­ni­tions to dis­perse Black Lives Mat­ter pro­test­ers Sun­day at the Mark O. Hat­field United States Court­house in Port­land, Ore. Of­fi­cers used tear gas and pro­jec­tiles to move the crowd af­ter some pro­test­ers tore down a fence fronting the court­house.

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