The Executive Order blames the protests in Portland on “rioters, arsonists, and left-wing extremists who… have explicitly identified themselves with ideologies — such as Marxism — that call for the destruction of the United States system of government.” It says that those calling out racial bias in America are seeking “to advance a fringe ideology that paints the United States of America as fundamentally unjust and have sought to impose that ideology on Americans through violence and mob intimidation.” It claims: “These radicals shamelessly attack the legitimacy of our institutions and the very rule of law itself.”
The administration justifies the operations in Chicago and Albuquerque differently. On July 8, Attorney General William Barr announced a Department of Justice initiative called “Operation Legend,” named for a four-year-old victim of gun violence. Operation Legend began in Kansas City, Missouri, “to fight the sudden surge of violent crime.” Under the initiative, Barr is deploying federal agents from the FBI, U.S. Marshal Service, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) to “surge resources” first to Kansas City, and now to Chicago and Albuquerque. The DOJ also promised to move personnel to Kansas City—and now, presumably to the other cities— “to handle an anticipated increase in prosecutions.”
All the affected cities are run by Democratic mayors.