RFK Jr. threatens legal action against Sec. Mayorkas over refusal to provide Secret Service protection

 April 13, 2024

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a major independent presidential candidate, yet President Joe Biden's administration has repeatedly denied him any protection from the U.S. Secret Service.

In fact, Kennedy's repeated requests for Secret Service protection have been denied five times by Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas, which prompted a threat of legal action from the candidate's attorney, USA Today reported.

Mayorkas has predictably attempted to dodge responsibility for the denials and shifted blame to an advisory committee made up mostly of congressional leaders, even though he holds broad discretion to disregard the committee and grant the requested protection on his own authority.

Requested Secret Service protection denied five times

In an X post on Wednesday, Kennedy wrote, "Fifth denial of Secret Service protection. It would almost be funny, except that the butt of the joke is the impartiality and integrity of our political institutions."

That post included a link to a Newsweek article that reported on a letter sent to Sec. Mayorkas nearly two weeks earlier that excoriated him for his repeated refusals for nearly a year to provide Kennedy with a Secret Service protective detail and also threatened possible legal action.

The letter from Kennedy's attorney, Aaron Siri, was in response to the most recent denial letter from the secretary, who wrote, "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."

That advisory committee, per Newsweek, is comprised of the House Speaker and Minority Leader as well as the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders plus the Senate Sergeant at Arms.

Expanded Secret Service protection for candidates due to assassination of Kennedy's father

One week earlier, Kennedy posted on his X account a copy of the letter from his attorney to Sec. Mayorkas, and wrote at that time, "Scathing letter from my attorneys holds Secretary Mayorkas responsible for consequences of his politically motivated, petty, and vindictive denial of Secret Service protection for my campaign."

The letter, dated March 29, stated, "Your repeated denials of Secret Service protection to the candidate, as well as your repeated denials of the campaign's request to disclose the individuals that the Secret Service has determined pose a security threat to Mr. Kennedy, are ... capricious, an abuse of discretion, and clearly politically motivated."

"We have been authorized to commence an action for these wrongful denials and to hold you personally responsible for any negative consequences that flow from your plainly illegal, unethical, and shameful conduct," the letter to Mayorkas continued.

Most ironically, the letter observed that it was the 1968 assassination of Kennedy's father, Robert F. Kennedy Sr., that prompted Congress to expand Secret Service protection to certain presidential candidates beyond the two major party nominees, and how that protection has been granted to at least 32 other candidates since then, many with "less financial support and lower national polling" than Kennedy.

It was also noted that Kennedy has faced multiple legitimate threats so far -- including an armed man at a rally, break-ins at his home, and specific death threats -- as well as that the Secret Service itself had assessed Kennedy as being at an elevated risk of harm and in need of additional protection.

Mayorkas to be held personally responsible for any harm that might occur

Newsweek reported that Kennedy is on record saying that he believes the repeated denials are politically motivated -- as does the letter -- in that Kennedy will likely draw votes away from President Biden and that denying him Secret Service protection will force him to use campaign funds to hire private security instead of spending that money on campaign ads or the costly process of ensuring ballot access in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

The letter to Sec. Mayorkas ended by warning of potential legal action against him personally if anybody is harmed due to a lack of Secret Service protection that he has the discretion to authorize, and concluded, "To be sure, there are things worse than death. Living without integrity is one of them."

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