House committee chairman requests DHS consider Secret Service protection for Biden, Sanders
The House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday asked the Trump administration to consider providing Secret Service protection to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), the two leading Democratic presidential candidates.
Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonWatchdog: CBP money meant for food, medical care for migrants was spent on ATVs, dirt bikes Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Hillicon Valley: Senators raise concerns over government surveillance of protests | Amazon pauses police use of its facial recognition tech | FBI warns hackers are targeting mobile banking apps MORE (D-Miss.), the chairman of the House panel, sent a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfHillicon Valley: Senators raise concerns over government surveillance of protests | Amazon pauses police use of its facial recognition tech | FBI warns hackers are targeting mobile banking apps Democratic senators raise concerns over government surveillance of protests Customs chief says drones above protests were not used for surveillance MORE as well as the Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate requesting they determine if any of the remaining Democratic presidential contenders warrant Secret Service protection.
“As the process for nominating the Democratic candidate for President of the United States continues to advance, Americans deserve to know that the major candidates for President are protected from all threats to their safety,” Thompson wrote.
Thompson specifically mentioned Biden and Sanders in his letter, saying they meet the standards for Secret Service consideration.
“The Guidelines further set forth a number of discretionary factors that may be considered when deciding whether to authorize [Secret Service] protection for a major candidate, reflecting the scale and seriousness of the candidate’s campaign,” he wrote. “Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Senator Bernard Sanders appear to satisfy several of these criteria.”
For a candidate to get government protection, they typically have to request Secret Service presence from the Department of Homeland Security, which then consults with the top Democrats and Republicans in both chambers of Congress. However, Thompson noted that authorization guidelines also indicate that “the absence of a request would not prevent the authorization of protection when warranted.”
The letter comes a day after protesters had to be wrested away from Biden at a campaign rally in California after they stormed the stage, appearing to come in physical contact with his wife, Jill Biden.
Thompson cited the “large campaign operations” and “high polling averages” for Biden and Sanders, as well as “physical threats to their safety” in urging the government to consider granting Secret Service protection to the two candidates, specifically referencing an article about Tuesday night’s protest at the Biden event.
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