Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

January 2022
S M T W T F S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: Secret Service

Secret Service Arrests New York Man Accused of Threatening to Kill, Kidnap Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling

The Secret Service arrested a Queens man accused of threatening to kidnap and kill then-President Trump if he refused to leave the White House following his failed 2020 election.  

Thomas Welnicki, 72, was charged with making threats against the president in cell phone calls to the Secret Service between July 2020 and last month, The New York Post reports.

“I am going to do anything I can to take out [Trump]. Oh yeah that’s a threat, come and arrest me,” Welnicki allegedly said on a Jan. 4, 2021, voicemail.

“I will do anything I can to take out [Individual-1] and his 12 monkeys,” Welnicki allegedly said in his voicemail. “If I had the opportunity to do it in Manhattan that would be awesome.”

In a call on Nov. 8, Welnicki allegedly called Trump “Hitler” and said “I will do everything I can to make sure [Trump] is dead.”

Magistrate Judge Vera Scanlon ordered a $50,000 bond. 

During the hearing, his attorney Dierdre Von Dornum said Welnicki doesn’t own any weapons and hasn’t left New York City in 15 years. 

“If there were any actual danger here, I am certain that they would have arrested him sooner,” Von Dornum said.

Homeland Security Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Hiring First Female Secret Service Agents

Swearing-in ceremony for the Secret Service’s first female special agents on Dec. 15, 1971.

By Steve Neavling

Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of women joining the ranks of the Secret Service.

Five women were appointed to become the agency’s first female special agents on Dec. 15, 1971. 

“We didn’t have an alternative other than to do it; to do it right, to jump a little higher, to try a little harder to shoot a little straighter,” Kathryn (Clark) Childers, one of the first five women sworn in, said, WDVM reports. “I am pleased and proud of the Secret Service for making gender a non-issue.”

Childers was joined by Laurie Anderson, Sue Ann Baker, Holly Hufschmidt and Phyllis Shantz, all of whom served in the Executive Protective Service, now called the Uniformed Division. 

Since then, virtually ever leadership position in the agency has been held by a woman. Some of the top leaders were Director Julia Pierson, Deputy Director Barbara Riggs, and Assistant Director for the Office of Protective Operations Kimberly Cheatle. 

Today, women make up 24% of the Secret Service. 

“What I am hoping for is that we continue the momentum of recruiting, hiring and retaining and advancing women in the Secret Service,” first Latina Deputy Assistant Director Darnelly DeJesus said. 

Watch the ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary.

Former Trump Press Secretary Reveals Secret Service Nicknamed Melania Trump ‘Rapunzel’

File photo via Secret Service.

By Steve Neavling

The Secret Service nicknamed Melania Trump “Rapunzel” because she rarely left the White House, according to a new book by former press secretary Stephanie Grisham.  

Agents requested working with Melania because it gave them more time to work with their families, Grisham writes in the the book, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” The Washington Post reports.

Grisham describes Melania as stubborn and so obsessed with self-care that she donned a robe and slippers as soon as she boarded Air Force One. 

She spent a lot of her time with her son Barron or her parents. 

When Trump’s alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniel was publicized, Melania tried to embarrass her husband. At one point, she walked arm-in-arm with a handsome military aide during the first State of the Union address because, Melania insisted, the Capitol floors were slippery. 

“I laughed to myself because I’d seen the woman navigate dirt roads in her heels,” Grisham writes.

John Hinkley Jr., Who Shot Reagan, Wins Unconditional Release

John Hinckley Jr

By Steve Neavling

John Hinckley Jr., who wounded President Reagan and three others in an assassination attempt in 1981, was granted “unconditional release” Monday. 

U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman agreed to lift the remaining restrictions on Hinckley, who is now 66 and has been living outside a mental health facility, as long as he remains mentally stable and continues to follow the conditions of his previous release, The Associated Press reports.

The unconditional release would begin in June 2022. 

“If he hadn’t tried to kill the president, he would have been unconditionally released a long, long, long time ago,” Friedman said. “But everybody is comfortable now after all of the studies, all of the analysis and all of the interviews, and all of the experience with Mr. Hinckley.”

Hinckley was 25 when he shot Regean outside a Washington hotel. Also wounded here White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and Washington Metropolitan Police officer Thomas Delahanty. Brady was paralyzed and died in 2014. 

Secret Service Shares Chilling, Never-Before-Seen Photos from Sept. 11 Attacks

The World Trade Center collapses. Photo: Secret Service

By Steve Neavling

As the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks approach, the Secret Service is releasing chilling, never-before-released photos from attack.

The Secret Service announced this week that it will be sharing photos “from that day and the days that followed,” including some that “have never been seen” before.

Two of the photos show damaged armored limousines parked at the former Secret Service New York Field Office. Another image shows plumes of black smoke streaming out of the World Trade Center towers.

The World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001. Photo: Secret Service
Armored limousines damaged at the Secret Service’s former New York Field Office. Photo: Secret Service
New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. Photo: Secret Service

Secret Service Warned of Potential for Violence a Day Before Jan. 6 Riot

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

The Secret Service warned the U.S. Capitol Police about the potential for violence on Jan. 5, a day before Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, according to new documents obtained by POLITICO.

It’s just the latest lapse in intelligence by the Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement agencies that failed act on credible warnings.

On Jan. 5, the Secret Service emailed a tip issued by a “concerned citizen” at the Denver Field Office about people who were headed to Washington D.C. to “attend tomorrow’s rally and ‘incite violence.’”

The email was obtained by the watchdog group Citizens of Responsibility and Ethics in Washington via a Freedom of Information Act request.

“Per our Denver Field Office, a concerned citizen reported that [REDACTED] were flying into BWI today to attend tomorrow’s rally and ‘incite violence,’” the email states. “In addition, the source reports that [REDACTED] previously made threats against President-Elect Biden. The source also reported that [REDACTED] was driving to DC with gear and weapons, to include ballistic helmets, armored gloves and vests, rifles, and suppressors.”

The email referred to the travelers’ motives, saying they were “in the area to protest election fraud, support President Trump.”

Included in the email was a screenshot of a Facebook post from one of the people attending the rally.

“We have an opportunity in Front of us to take back our country and abolish the deep state once and for all,” the post says. “Call me some right wing conspiracy theorist if you will I don’t give a [f—] I read the Facts and I study history.”

Another email from the Secret Service warned of “multiple threatening Parler Posts directed at DC Police.”

“While the subject appears to be targeting MPDC, the subject calls for violence against any law enforcement in DC that ‘sides with the enemy,’” the Secret Service email states.

Despite this and other warnings, the Capitol Police were unprepared for the violence that broke out on Jan. 6, which resulted in the injuries of dozens of Capitol Police officers.

In a statement, the Capitol Police said it had received no intelligence to suggest “a large-scale attack.”

Trump Charged Secret Service $10,000+ for Agents to Stay in Rooms at Golf Club

By Steve Neavling

The Secret Service was billed more than $10,000 for guest rooms that agents used in May at former President Trump’s golf club in New Jersey, The Washington Post reports.

Although the bill wasn’t itemized, it appears that the Secret Service will pay $566.64 per night for 18 nights in a four-bedroom “cottage” at Trump Bedminster. 

In all, the Secret Service has spent more than $50,000 for agents to stay in rooms since Trump left office in January. 

The Secret Service also was charged nearly $35,000 to rent portable toilets for four months at Bedminster this year.

Since Trump took office, the Secret Service has been charged extravagant fees to protect him. 

In 2017, the Secret Service couldn’t afford to pay hundreds of agents who were responsible for protecting Trump’s large family.

Trump ordered the Secret Service to continue protecting 13 members of his family and at least three appointees beyond his first presidential term. 

Nearly 900 Secret Service Agents Infected with COVID-19 in First Year of Pandemic

By Steve Neavling

Nearly 900 Secret Service employees tested positive for the coronavirus in the first year of the pandemic, representing 11% of the workforce, according to records obtained by a government watchdog group. 

Between March 1, 2020, and March, 9, 2021, 881 active Secret Service employees were infected with COVID-19, far more than previously known, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) revealed.

The list of employees who tested positive were 477 special agents, 249 members of the Uniformed Division, 131 working in administrative, professional and technical positions, 12 investigative protection officers, and 12 technical security investigators. 

More than half of those infected worked in the special agent division, which is tasked with protecting the president, vice president and their families.

President Trump’s administration downplayed the pandemic. When Trump was infected with COVID-19, he was criticized for putting Secret Service agents at risk during a drive in his presidential vehicle to wave at cameras. 

It’s unclear how many infections were the result of the administration’s actions – or lack of actions. 

“Maintaining the health and welfare of its dedicated workforce is a top priority for the Secret Service,” the Secret Service said in a statement to CNN. “The agency also secured the CDC- recommended PPE including masks, shields, gloves, and other equipment and ensured it was distributed to employees around the world.”