Police and other law enforcement officers risk their lives to protect others all the time. But the Secret Service is unique in that its agents specifically protect political figures. In some instances they’re risking their lives to protect people they just finished voting against, which is remarkable if you think about it. Those agents will keep dutifully providing that protection no matter what. But now we’re about to find out if they’re willing to leak secrets to take a criminal political figure down.
That’s because Donald Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow just dragged the Secret Service directly into the Trump-Russia scandal. He posited that if Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Kremlin representatives had been illegal, the Secret Service agents present would have intervened, perhaps not even allowing the Kremlin characters into the room. The Secret Service quickly fired back by pointing out that it wasn’t even protecting Donald Trump Jr. at the time (link). But this is about to get messy for the Service Service, and therefore politically precarious for Donald Trump.
Trump’s attorney just opened up the Secret Service to a significant amount of scrutiny. The public and the media will now demand to know what the agents would have done in such a situation: would they have intervened? What degree of criminal behavior on the part of a political figure are agents willing to overlook in order to maintain the sanctity of the protection process? And yes, the media will ask if Secret Service agents were in fact present at this meeting, as a way of trying to determine whether Donald Trump himself attended his son’s meeting.
And so Trump just made things very ugly for the Secret Service in an unfair way. Again, they’re professionals. They won’t stop doing their job of protection, nor should they. But now we’re going to see whether the Secret Service agents who have been protecting the Trump family are willing to leak the illegal things they’ve seen and heard. It’s not even clear that they should. But after today’s transgressions, they just might – which makes today one of Trump’s most self defeating days yet. If you find Palmer Report valuable, make a donation.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report