October 19, 2015

Who Gets It?

Filed under: General — Bill @ 7:52 am

USSS BadgeSeveral skews agencies (Newsmax, Fox News, etc.) are reporting that presidential candidates Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson will soon receive Secret Service protection.  That is probably correct.

The skews agencies also imply that the Secret Service determines which presidential candidates get protection.  That is wrong.

Major candidates  for President and Vice President as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security are eligible receive Secret Service protection after the Secretary has consulted with the Congressional Advisory Committee (Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, and one additional member selected by the others).   Those candidates can decline protection if they choose.

Criteria have been established to assist the DHS Secretary and the Congressional Advisory Committee in their decision making (as of 2008). Candidates must:

  • Be publicly announced
  • Have some degree of prominence as shown by opinion polls
  • Be actively campaigning and entered in at least 10 state primaries
  • Be seeking the nomination of a qualified party
  • Have qualified for matching funds in the amount of at least $100,000
  • Have received contributions totaling $10 million

Hillary Clinton receives protection not because of her candidacy but because former presidents and their spouses are entitled by law to receive it for life or until the deceased president’s surviving spouse remarries.  Former president’s children receive protection until age 16.  The protection is offered to “formers” but can be declined.  Only former President Richard Nixon declined protection after he left office.

OpenCdA speculates that candidate Bernie Sanders does not yet meet one or more of the required criteria.  However, the President could still direct the Secret Service to provide him with protection.

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