Biden administration denies Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Secret Service protection for 3rd time

 December 25, 2023

The Biden administration has denied Secret Service protection to independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for the third time, his campaign confirmed on Friday. 

Kennedy requested the protection because his uncle and father were both assassinated in office and he has received well-documented threats since announcing his candidacy, first as a Democrat challenger to Biden and then as an independent.

“I have consulted with an advisory committee composed of the Speaker of the House, the House Minority Leader, the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority Leader, and the Senate Sergeant at Arms,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas wrote in a letter to news media. “Based on the facts and the recommendation of the advisory committee, I have determined that Secret Service protection for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is not warranted at this time.”

Federal law says "major" candidates for president and vice president need to receive protection, but leaves it to officials to determine what constitutes a major candidate.

Other candidates got protection

Kennedy pointed out that other candidates received Secret Service protection even though they were far behind in the polls, including Herman Cain in 2012 and Ben Carson in 2016.

In 2017, however, guidelines were established that state “polling at 20% or more of the Real Clear Politics National Average for 30 consecutive days" is required for independent candidates to get protection.

Kennedy is polling at between 17% and low 20s in most hypothetical three-way polls.

Candidates can also get protection if they show they are in danger, which Kennedy feels he has done.

The documentation

Kennedy said he provided a 67-page report from Gavin de Becker and Associates, the security firm Kennedy hired, “detailing unique and well-established security and safety risks aside from commonplace death threats" when he submitted his second request in October, but it was denied.

“I can’t look into the heads of the people who are making these decisions at the White House,” Kennedy continued. “But I think they’d probably rather me spend money on protection than spending it on field organization or advertising.”

This rhetoric goes along with Kennedy's skeptical stance toward government, its actions and its motives, but that doesn't mean he's wrong in this case.

Biden has shown a proclivity for using the justice system to both protect his loved ones (Hunter Biden) and go after his enemies (former President Donald Trump).

Given all that, is it such a stretch to think he would direct his justice department to deny a candidate with the potential to hurt his campaign Secret Service protection, even if it was warranted and at risk to that candidate's life?

Unfortunately, it seems like exactly what Biden might do.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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