Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) has grown so concerned about a 20-day standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in her state she took her concerns straight to the top: President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and FBI Director James Comey.
In letters obtained by Oregon Public Broadcasting, Brown disclosed that she spoke with Mr. Comey directly “to share my issues with the handling of the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge.”
In one letter to Lynch and Comey, Brown made it clear she is fed up with the standoff and the feds’ handling of the armed militiamen.
“While it is easy to assume that an occupation in such a remote location does not threaten public safety and does not harm any victims, that perception is far from accurate.”
Brown says that even before the wildlife refuge was taken over, community members were “put under strain” as outsiders “made unrealistic demands” and began “harassing law enforcement and their family members.” She also writes that the fact that militiamen are free to come and go from the refuge adds even more tension to the community.
The publication of the letters comes after Brown spoke publicly Wednesday about her frustration with the federal government’s handling of the crisis. She added then that she had been discouraged by federal officials from talking at all about the standoff.
Brown also sent a shorter letter to Obama thanking him for considering her request to end the standoff.