Sending Office: Honorable Brendan F. Boyle
Sent By:
Ted.Steinberg@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Letter to the Secret Service
We Must Protect Presidential Candidates

See Video of Protestor Taking Microphone from Sen. Harris
 

Deadline: COB Friday, June 7

 

Dear Colleague,
 

This week marks the 51st anniversary of the assassination of then-presidential candidate Senator Robert F. Kennedy, the tragic event that led Congress to authorize Secret Service protection for major presidential candidates. It is with this in mind that
we write to voice serious concern for the lack of security at an event featuring multiple major presidential candidates this past weekend.
 

During the event, a protestor in the audience accessed the stage, approached and made contact with Senator Kamala Harris, forcefully took the microphone from her hand, and then continued to remain in dangerous proximity to the Senator for many seconds after
his apprehension. This lapse in sufficient security could have been a horrifying mistake.
 

In this divisive political climate, where politically motivated threats and attacks are at the forefront of public concern, we cannot afford to take this alarming incident lightly. Please join us in this letter to Secret Service Director James M. Murray
to ask for clarification on the procedure to protect presidential candidates and evaluate whether improvements must be made to ensure their safety.

The letter text is included below. If you would like to sign on or you have any questions, please contact Ted Steinberg at
Ted.Steinberg@mail.house.gov.
 

Sincerely,
 

Brendan F. Boyle
Member of Congress

 

***Letter Text***
 

Mr. James M. Murray
Director
U.S. Secret Service
950 H St NW #7800
Washington, DC 20223

 

Dear Director Murray,
 

With your dedication to public service and distinguished career in law enforcement, I appreciate your commitment to protecting our nation. Tasked with fighting crime across the world and protecting those who serve at home, the United States Secret Service
is an imperative entity, crucial to ensuring threats against American officials do not come to fruition.
 

This week marks the 51st anniversary of the assassination of then-presidential candidate Senator Robert F. Kennedy, the tragic event that led Congress to authorize Secret Service protection for major presidential candidates. It is with this in mind that
we write to voice serious concern for the lack of security at an event featuring multiple major presidential candidates, which took place on June 1, 2019. At this event, a protestor in the audience accessed the stage, approached and made contact with Senator
Kamala Harris, forcefully took the microphone from her hand, and then continued to remain in dangerous proximity to the Senator for many seconds after his apprehension. This lapse in sufficient security could have been a horrifying mistake.
 

We cannot afford to take this alarming incident lightly, especially as politically-motivated threats and attacks have moved to the forefront of public concern. Presidential candidates and elected officials have long-been the subject of dangerous threats
and attacks, and protecting these individuals from potential harm preserves an essential aspect of free and fair elections. Those who wish to serve their community by seeking public office must retain their reasonable expectation of physical safety, otherwise,
valuable voices and leaders could be deterred from running for elected office.
 

To ensure that no future candidate or elected official running for high office becomes subject to such preventable harm, we respectfully request answers to the following questions by July 1, 2019:
 

  1. In 2007, President Barrack Obama received Secret Service protection 18 months before the 2008 general election. We are now 17 months from the 2020 general election. At what point does the Secret Service begin communicating with a presidential campaign to
    discuss security options and details? Who initiates the communication between the Secret Service and presidential campaigns?
  2. When was the last time the U.S. Secret Service conducted a review of the criteria and procedures used to determine when and how candidates for President receive protection?
  3. Does the U.S. Secret Service in any way coordinate with presidential campaigns before providing official protection?
  4. Does the U.S. Secret Service monitor and notify threats to presidential candidates before providing official protection?
  5. What improvements would enhance the process used to determine which presidential campaigns receive Secret Service protection and when?
     

We thank you in advance for your thoughtful and detailed answers to the above questions and welcome the opportunity to discuss these answers in depth.

Again, we thank you for your commitment to protecting and serving our country and look forward to working with you to address any potential changes that will enhance this process to address modern challenges.
 

Sincerely,

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Elections, Government, Homeland Security

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