MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to The Guardian newspaper, Lauren Regan, a civil rights attorney who has actively provided legal support for protesters, said that three individuals, including a Native American, have been approached by JTTF officers. In each case, the officer came without a subpoena, but instead with a request for a voluntary interview, Regan added.
All three individuals were contacted in the weeks following US President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the newspaper added.
While the motive behind the investigations is not known, the attorney regarded the approaches as "outrageous," "unwarranted," and "unconstitutional," noting that the mere implication of non-violent demonstrates in a domestic terrorism investigation was "unfathomable," The Guardian reported.
The project has since come under fire by members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation is near part of the pipeline route, because of its anticipated harm to sources of drinking water and because the construction desecrates burial grounds and other sites.
Since April 2016, hundreds of peaceful demonstrators have gathered at the site in solidarity with the Standing Rock tribe to protest the completion of the pipeline.
On January 24, Trump signed an executive order to advance the construction of the Dakota Access, an action which was previously vetoed by former US President Barack Obama before he left office.