RFK Jr. Denied Secret Service Protection For Fifth Time

President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has denied Secret Service protection for independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for the fifth time — prompting concerns that the decision was “politically motivated.”

Kennedy is now threatening to take legal action against the DHS after the latest denial, which came in the form of a letter from DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

It should come as no surprise that Mayorkas is once again failing to properly execute his duties, as the Homeland Security secretary’s dereliction of duty made him the first cabinet secretary to be impeached in nearly 150 years.

In the letter to Kennedy’s campaign dated March 28, Mayorkas claimed that Kennedy did not require Secret Service protection — noting that the decision to deny the request came after discussions with an advisory committee whose members included the Senate Sergeant at Arms and prominent members of Congress.

Aaron Siri, Kennedy’s lawyer, sent a letter to Mayorkas on March 29 in response to the repeated denials — declaring that the decision was “clearly politically motivated.”

Siri accused Mayorkas and his DHS of “ignoring the real risks” to Kennedy, pointing to a past incident where a guest at Kennedy’s campaign event was caught carrying two loaded handguns.

He also accused Mayorkas of refusing to grant the protection solely because Kennedy is running against Biden, and has vowed to hold the DHS secretary personally responsible if anything were to happen to his client.

Kennedy shared that letter in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, noting that the “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.”

It is concerning that the Biden administration would make such a decision in light of the numerous threats on Kennedy’s life, but it is even more shocking that they chose to deny him protection in spite of the optics of such a move. While it’s clear that the president and his allies have animosity toward Kennedy for potentially siphoning votes from Biden in November, it should have been clear that it would look bad for Biden if his administration denied Secret Service protection to one of the most popular third-party candidates in recent memory, especially as he is a member of a prominent family where two of his family members were famously assassinated.

It has been standard practice for Secret Service protection to be given to presidential and vice-presidential candidates since the 1968 assassination of Kennedy’s father, then-Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy. The independent presidential candidate’s uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was also assassinated a few years earlier.

The requirements for Secret Service protection include declaring oneself a candidate in public and facing “general or specific threats.” There is an additional requirement for third-party candidates — polling at 20% or higher in the national polling average for a minimum of 30 days.

As of Sunday, Kennedy is polling at approximately 11.7% in the Real Clear Polling average. However, the DHS secretary is given “broad discretion” in choosing which candidates meet the requirements for Secret Service protection, meaning that Mayorkas has the authority to grant Kennedy’s request based on the other factors regardless of polling.

This is clear considering the fact that Mayorkas previously granted Secret Service protection to failed GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley at a time when she was faring so poorly in the presidential race that she lost her home state by double digits. Haley had absolutely zero chance of beating former President Donald Trump in the primary, and had not even won a single state at the time Mayorkas’ decision was announced.

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