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Home GOP chairs sound alarm on ‘unprecedented’ course of to self-discipline Border Patrol brokers in ‘Whipgate’ saga

FIRST ON FOX: The chairmen of three prime Home committees are demanding solutions from Customs and Border Safety (CBP) over what they are saying is an “unprecedented” course of getting used to probably self-discipline Border Patrol brokers who had been falsely accused by President Biden and different Democrats of whipping migrants in 2021.

“We write to you concerning the obvious try by U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP) to make use of an unprecedented course of to self-discipline brokers from the U.S. Border Patrol’s Del Rio Horse Patrol Unit,” Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, Oversight Chairman James Comer and Homeland Safety Committee Chairman Mark Inexperienced stated in a letter to performing CBP Commissioner Troy Miller. “We count on your cooperation with our oversight.”

The chairmen stated they’ve discovered that the disciplinary motion the brokers will face over the incident will not be determined by the Border Patrol chief or a supervisor or sector chief — and as an alternative could also be decided by a “senior government” with no expertise in Border Patrol or legislation enforcement.

“We’re involved that if CBP pursues this course, it can end in an uninformed and probably unfair disciplinary determination,” they stated.


The event is the newest flip associated to the September 2021 incident, which got here as 1000’s of migrants camped out underneath the Worldwide Bridge in Del Rio — a few of whom encountered brokers on horseback as they crossed the river.

Images from the incident had been misinterpreted by commentators, reporters and a few Democrats as displaying the brokers whipping migrants. In reality, because the eventual CBP investigation confirmed, the brokers had been utilizing reins to regulate their horses, weren’t carrying whips and didn’t whip anybody. 

Democrats and prime officers on the time had demanded motion primarily based on the false narrative. Vice President Kamala Harris in contrast the incident to ways used “throughout instances of slavery,” whereas Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demurred to the investigation however stated the incident “painfully conjured up the worst parts of our nation’s ongoing battle in opposition to systemic racism.”

President Biden didn’t maintain again, nonetheless, and accused the brokers of getting “strapped” brokers — and appeared to attempt to anticipate the investigation’s end result.


“To see individuals handled like they did, horses barely working over, individuals being strapped — it is outrageous,” Biden informed reporters, making a whipping movement together with his hand. “I promise you, these individuals can pay. There can be an investigation underway now, and there can be penalties. There can be penalties.”

The following investigation, which didn’t reveal its findings till the summer season of 2022, discovered “no proof” that brokers struck migrants and located that they weren’t carrying whips, nevertheless it nonetheless faulted brokers on extra minor infractions. An agent was accused of utilizing “denigrating and offensive” language in opposition to migrants concerning nationwide origin and gender, and of getting maneuvered a horse round a toddler in an “unsafe method,” whereas brokers had been stated to have used “pointless use of pressure” to drive the migrants again.

Their punishments have but to be determined, and the Republican chairmen worry that the brokers may very well be punished as a method to offer political cowl for the administration’s false statements.

“We are able to solely conclude that CBP is contemplating an official with out Border Patrol or legislation enforcement expertise as a choice maker to guard the agent’s political accountable superiors — the President, the Vice President, and the Secretary of Homeland Safety — for his or her inaccurate and defamatory statements,” they wrote.

The lawmakers additionally stated there could also be additional investigations ought to CBP take such steps.


“If CBP decides to pursue this unprecedented course of for Border Patrol agent self-discipline, we could also be compelled to look at the bizarre nature of those disciplinary proceedings and whether or not the disciplinary determination was made primarily based on correct issues,” they wrote.

The “Whipgate” saga had come up once more earlier this month when an unprompted Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz appeared to distance himself from the administration, stated he was happy with what his brokers did that day, and took accountability for what passed off.

“I stay happy with the work of our horse patrol items and what we did in Del Rio. Because the chief of the Border Patrol, I’m finally liable for all operational selections. To that time and as a senior area commander throughout that response, I accepted and proceed to simply accept full accountability for the actions taken,” he stated.

Ortiz had beforehand backed his brokers in different settings. In 2022, he had expressed confidence that the brokers can be exonerated. Fox Information additionally reported on emails from across the time of the incident, obtained by the Heritage Basis’s Oversight Undertaking by way of FOIA, the place Ortiz had fumed over the administration’s failure to help brokers.

“This horse enterprise is very unfavourable however there are nice efforts occurring and we aren’t highlighting any of them,” he stated in a livid electronic mail. “On a regular basis we’re offering lifesaving efforts to migrants underneath the bridge.”

“Our brokers are being assaulted and we aren’t saying a phrase,” Ortiz stated.

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