OP-ED: Can Federal Agents Be Arrested In Oregon?WashCo Dems op-ed article

By Clayton Callahan, US Army CI Special Agent (Retired)

The short answer is, of course, “yes.”

From 2010 until 2014, I worked as a Counterintelligence Special Agent for the US Army. As such, I can clearly attest that no extra-legal authority was ever granted us. In fact, the first week of my training involved classroom instruction, where an Army attorney explained to us all the trouble we could get in if we broke the law—and it took all week.

Basically, the lawyer told us that if we were so much as to get caught speeding, the local authorities would do as they pleased. In short, I could expect to be hung out to dry for even trivial infractions, and the Federal government wouldn’t care one bit. After all, I’d had the classroom instruction in my first week so I should have known better, right?

Now, this is not a new or strange concept in American law. You can well imagine if an IRS Agent committed an armed robbery nobody would say, “Well that’s okay, he’s a Fed.” Heck no! We could reasonably expect he’d be arrested and charged according to the state law that applied. This kind of thing has naturally happened already. For instance, State Diplomatic Security Services Agent David S. Scharlat, was charged with rape in Wisconsin, was found guilty, and now awaits sentencing.

Where am I going with this? Well, I was recently asked the question, “Can the Department of Homeland Security Agents in Portland be charged with violating Oregon law?”

The short answer is, of course, “yes.”

The most frequent accusation leveled at the Feds in Portland, is their arrests are nothing more than kidnapping ( https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/163.235 ). And, if the evidence bears that out, that is exactly what they can be charged with. There is even an Oregon law that specifies how Federal Agents can (and can not) make arrests ( https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/133.245 ) so there is a clear legal standard to judge by. Now, it is up to the Portland Police Bureau, the Multnomah County Sheriff, and/or the Oregon State Police to look at the evidence. If they conclude that a crime was committed by any person, whether connected with the Federal government or not, they can and should—in my opinion—make arrests.

It matters not one whit whether the person was acting on orders from Federal authority. A crime is a crime, and no person is above the law. A fact any Federal Agent should have learned in his first week of classroom instruction

Disclaimer:  Op-eds are the personal views of the author only, not necessarily the Washington County Democrats.  Please review our Terms of Service page, User-generated content, to fully understand our publication process.  Your op-ed submission is welcome here