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Secret Service Tag

Monday evening, the Secret Service removed Trump from a press briefing and Trump returned to explain there was an alleged shooter in the vicinity (by the administration building adjacent to the White House) that was shot by the Secret Service. Both the alleged shooter and a Secret Service officer were taken to the hospital, according to local reports.

Chris Grant, 50, received praise from the media and Robert O'Rourke due to his heroic actions during the El Paso Walmart shooting in August. But Secret Service arrested him just before President Donald Trump would honor him for his actions. Turns out Grant has an outstanding arrest warrant and the El Paso police have refuted his story.

A Missouri state senator posted on Facebook that she hopes President Trump is assassinated.  Her comment, since deleted, acknowledged that such a statement is likely to earn her scrutiny from the Secret Service.  And it has. Not only is state senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-MO) facing a Secret Service probe, but she is also being called upon to resign.  Further, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens (R) is urging the state legislature to remove Chappelle-Nadal should she refuse to honor the bipartisan calls for her resignation. Fox News reported on Chappelle-Nadal's Facebook post:
Democratic state senator in Missouri is facing resignation calls for posting on Facebook Thursday that she hopes President Trump is assassinated. “I hope Trump is assassinated!” state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal wrote.

Threats to Republican front runners Dr. Ben Carson and Donald Trump have been so significant that the two candidates will now get protection from the Secret Service. Todd Beamon of Newsmax reports, hat tip to The Gateway Pundit:
Secret Service to Protect Trump, Carson as Threats Grow The Secret Service will give agent protection to Ben Carson and Donald Trump while heavily upgrading Hillary Clinton's existing detail, a Washington source close to the agency’s plans confirmed to Newsmax. The deployment of agents around Republican candidates Trump and Carson is set to begin as early as next week. Approximately two dozen agents will be assigned to each candidate. Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, has had Secret Service protection since leaving the White House as first lady in 2001, but her detail will be heavily upgraded by the agency’s move.

First we had the IRS targeting American citizens, now we have the Secret Service targeting a sitting member of congress. What's next? Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah was basically singled out for a smear campaign. Noah Rothman reports at Commentary:
Another Targeting Scandal “This is scary. 1984 scary,” National Journal columnist Ron Fournier remarked on Thursday. “We’ve got an agency called ‘Secret Service’ targeting political enemies. Think about that.” Indeed. This week, the fraternity house that is United States Secret Service graduated from ribald antics and hijinks to the outright political intimidation of those who would dare spoil the good time. The specific target of the Secret Service’s botched decapitation strike was House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz. According to the Department of Homeland Security inspector general, the USSS assistant director tried to get some embarrassing information about the congressman into the public sphere in the effort to coerce Chaffetz to back off his investigation of the agency responsible for the personal safety of America’s most prominent political figures.

Just when you thought it was safe to hop back on the motorcade... A member of the Uniformed Division of the Secret Service has been placed on administrative leave and had his security clearance suspended after being arrested Friday. The agent has been charged with misdemeanor destruction of property. We don't have any specifics yet, but according to U.S. Secret Service Spokesman Brian Leary, the Secret Service's "Office of Professional Responsibility will investigate this matter." The fact that the Secret Service released this (lack of) information tells me one thing: they're not taking any chances with the possibility that the media will try to pin another "transparency" scandal on the agency. Between the Colombian prostitutes, the resignations, the drunken romps through investigations (and onto the White House lawn via drone proxy), and the soft targeting of congressmen who are charged with maintaining transparency, it's clear that the agency really can't take any more heartache at the hands of its own people.

Fact: the Secret Service's reputation is circling the drain. Between fence jumpers, shots fired, and agents driving through active bomb investigations, House committee have been working overtime in an attempt to put out a dumpster fire that has been raging for years. As for the Secret Service, they seem to be less concerned with fixing their image, and making sure their critics keep their mouths shut as scandals unfold. The Washington Post is reporting that oversight committee staffers have asked the White House to investigate claims that officials at the Secret Service have been circulating documents showing that Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) was once rejected for a job as a Secret Service agent. The matter has been referred to DHS for a thorough review---but the fact that we're talking about it right now may be the end goal of whomever chose to release the information. The Daily Beast spoke to Chaffetz about his application, trying to figure out if the Congressman's investigations are grudge-fueled:

The Secret Service has problems---and today, director Joseph Clancy talked to Congress about his plans to turn things around. The subject of today's hearing centered around an incident that occurred earlier this month at the White House, where two likely-intoxicated Secret Service agents hit a security barrier after driving through an active bomb threat investigation.
Chaffetz showed surveillance footage provided by the Washington, D.C., police department. The time-lapse video showed a woman dropped off a package outside the White House on the night of March 4. She apparently claimed this was a bomb. The video, toward the end, also showed the two agents in question arriving on the scene and bumping into a security barrier. But Chaffetz, before playing the video, said after agents were initially unable to apprehend the suspect, the package sat "unattended as traffic drove by for a long period of time." He said it took 11 minutes for the agency to call the Metropolitan Police Department bomb squad. And for 17 minutes, he said, traffic continued to drive by and "several pedestrians walked within feet of the potential bomb." "I don't understand how that happens," Chaffetz said. Chaffetz also said that an agent initially followed the suspect's car but was "mistakenly called off the pursuit when the Secret Service identified the wrong car as the suspect's." It took 30 minutes after she fled for the Service to issue a "lookout" for the vehicle. After an hour and 20 minutes, the scene was cleared. The "bomb" turned out to be a book. The suspect was apprehended three days later.
Here's video of the incident:

The Secret Service is in trouble---and new director Joseph Clancy thinks their training facilities are to blame. During testimony before a House committee yesterday, Clancy went on defense against concerns about systemic problems within the organization tasked with defending the President of the United States. He claimed that the Service's lack of adequate training facilities are partially to blame for recent scandals, and asked the panel for $8 million in appropriations for a new, "real life" facility that mimics the White House and surrounding grounds. From the New York Times:
“Right now, we train on a parking lot, basically,” Mr. Clancy said. “We put up a makeshift fence and walk off the distance between the fence at the White House and the actual house itself. We don’t have the bushes, we don’t have the fountains, we don’t get a realistic look at the White House.” Joseph P. Clancy, the Secret Service director, faced aggressive questioning Tuesday from the House Appropriations Committee about a crash at the White House. Mr. Clancy added, “It’s important to have a true replica of what the White House is so we can do a better job of this integrated training between our uniform division officers, our agents and our tactical teams.”
This of course begs the question---what does a training facility have to do with incompetence and cover-ups? It's possible that the answer is "nothing," and that Clancy is asking for this funding because he sees a problem with agent training that's completely separate from the drinking, droning, and deadly mistakes that have peppered the news cycle. It's also possible that Clancy stared down into the void and has no idea where to go from here.

It's not every day that a Secret Service agent gets drunk, crashes a government car into the White House security barricades, and almost gets away with it---but when it does happen, you'd better believe Congress is going to tear that guy's boss a new one. ICYMI, that day happened this week. Two senior Secret Service agents got behind the wheel after a White House party, explored a security barrier with the bumper of their car, and were nearly arrested for it before being saved by a senior supervisor who happened to be on duty. Oh, and one more small detail---they drove through an active bomb investigation. At the White House. IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. This is a caps lock-ey kind of post, which we normally frown upon here at Legal Insurrection; but really, what is there to say, and how else should I say it? New Secret Service director Joseph P. Clancy has only been mopping up agents for a month, but he's already scheduled to testify before a House subcommittee Watch:

There are snipers on the White House roof. Forget teams of fences, dogs, pressure-triggered alarms, or roving bands of secret agents. We have snipers. Can you imagine the conversations those snipers have when some yahoo hops a barrier and makes a run at the front door? Because that happened again today. Twice. Via the Daily Mail:
On Sunday night, an unnamed suspect stepped over a bike rack situated outside the White House fence. The bike racks were installed last year following a high-profile fence-jumping incident that involved an Army veteran armed with a knife. Early Monday morning, another person attempted to walk through a gate while a construction crew were leaving. According to NBC, both men were taken into custody, and the Secret Service has given the all-clear at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The agency has been tight-lipped about the two breaches, which are now under investigation. The suspects have not been named. The bike rack-jumping incident took place at around 11.30pm Sunday near the southwest corner of the presidential residence, reported MyFox DC. The male suspect was arrested and charged with unlawful entry. The breach led to a 30-minute lockdown at the White House. Just before 7am Monday, another man allegedly tried to walk into a pedestrian entrance as construction workers were leaving the area. A Secret Service agent stopped the intruder in his tracks and arrested him after a brief confrontation. The White House was placed on another lockdown that lasted only a few minutes following the second incident.

I suppose it will eventually stop being disconcerting every time someone breaches the 4 invisible walls surrounding the White House, but until that day happens, I think there's an argument for license to make a "concerned-and-confused-and-even-disgusted" face when these sorts of things happen. I woke up early this morning to a message from a friend asking, [w]hat is going on with the security at the White House? I mean, besides the obvious racism of the secret service? That's when I found out that this had happened, via the Daily News:
There was a security scare at the White House early Monday when a two-foot quadcopter drone was found in the middle of the night on the executive mansion's grounds. The U.S. Secret Service is investigating, White House spokesman John Earnest said, but the aircraft did not pose a threat to the building. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were on a three-day visit to India, but their daughters, Sasha and Malia, were at the White House. An unnamed law enforcement official told NBC News the drone landed in a tree just after 3 a.m. Monday on the southeast side of the complex. "An investigation is underway to determine the origin of this commercially available device, motive, and to identify suspects," said Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary.
According to reports, the drone was not "weaponized," but thank God the Obamas were out of town, anyway.

In a recent appearance on MSNBC, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank suggested an inconsistency between Republican desires to remove Obama from office, and Republican complaints that the Secret Service was not adequately protecting Obama from harm. Why is that inconsistent? Can't we both oppose a president and want to protect the President? The Presidency is greater than the man or his policies. Noah Rothman of Hot Air reported:
Milbank: Why would GOP want Secret Service to protect Obama? Among the fears Milbank suggests the GOP is aggravating for political gain are concerns that the Secret Service is underperforming. “They’re even making a campaign issue of the Secret Service,” The Post columnist said, “saying things are so bad that even the President of the United States, the President of the United States we would like to remove from office by the way, is not being adequately protected by the Secret Service.” First, what a shocking and offensive insinuation to make. Yes, Republicans (and Democrats, I’d venture) can oppose a president of the opposite party and also not want any harm to come to them. Second, the suggestion that voicing concerns about the increasingly apparent incompetence in the Secret Service amounts to fear mongering is just as insulting.
Here's a video of the exchange: Of course, this could be a classic case of media projection.