A Secret Service agent’s Facebook endorsement of Hillary Clinton before last November’s election was drawing fire after she said she would not take a bullet for Donald Trump were he elected.
On Tuesday, the Washington Examiner published the October post by Kerry O’Grady, a Secret Service agent in charge of the Denver district. In it, she said that she would rather go to jail than protect President Trump.
“As a public servant for nearly 23 years, I struggle not to violate the Hatch Act,” O’Grady wrote, referring to the legislation that prevents federal employees from using their position to influence elections. “So I keep quiet and skirt the median. To do otherwise can be a criminal offense for those in my position. Despite the fact that I am expected to take a bullet for both sides.”
“But this world has changed and I have changed. And I would take jail time over a bullet or an endorsement for what I believe to be disaster to this country and the strong and amazing women and minorities who reside here,” O’Grady continued. “Hatch Act be damned. I am with Her.”
This wasn’t just idle talk. According to the Examiner, O’Grady oversaw coordination with Washington-based advance teams for all presidential candidate and presidential trips to the area, including all upcoming or future trips by the president, vice president or Trump administration officials.”
The Hatch Act specifically states that no member of the Secret Service may use an email account or social media site to “send or forward content that advocates for or against a partisan political party, candidate for partisan political office or partisan political group” or “post a comment to a blog or a social media site that advocates for or against a partisan political party, candidate for partisan political office or partisan political group.”
Unfortunately, O’Grady did not believe the Hatch Act ought to be damned after the election, since she decided to keep her position in spite of the fact she doesn’t much care for protecting the president she’s charged with defending.
Considering that this is a bit like a commercial airline pilot who doesn’t much care for staying sober on the job, the Secret Service was looking closely at the case. The Washington Post reported that they’re considering disciplinary action against O’Grady, which — well, duh.
“The U.S. Secret Service is aware of the postings and the agency is taking quick and appropriate action,” Secret Service spokeswoman Cathy Milhoan said. “As a matter of practice, we do not comment on personnel matters.”
“All Secret Service agents and employees are held to the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct,” she added. “Any allegations of misconduct are taken seriously and swiftly investigated.”
O’Grady told the Examiner that she regrets the posting, which — again, duh.
“It was an internal struggle for me but as soon as I put it up, I thought it was not the sentiment that I needed to share because I care very deeply about the mission,” she said, blaming the post on the emotions she felt after sexual assault accusations were leveled against Trump. (O’Grady also said she was a sexual assault survivor.)
Unfortunately, the heat of the moment does not explain why the post was still available for the media to find three months later or why O’Grady posted the logo for the Denver Women’s March on her Facebook page last Friday, which would seem to be yet another explicit violation of the Hatch Act.
I don’t care about how high O’Grady’s emotions were running or what her personal history is. That simply does not explain the disgusting insinuation that she would refuse to protect the president to the fullest of her ability, essentially leaving him open to assassination. The fact that this was done in the context of a partisan endorsement is especially inexcusable.
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