Picture this: You smooch your husband or wife goodbye each morning, knowing his or her only job is to protect the president of the United States from harm, with his or her own life if necessary.
Add to that knowing that a member of the team is having second thoughts, and you can understand why a group of Secret Service spouses would like to see that member fired.
Special Agent in Charge Kerry O’Grady, head of the Secret Service Denver office, posted to Facebook in October that she would rather “take jail time over a bullet” in reference to now-President Donald Trump. Now she might get her wish.
Spouses and loved ones of Denver agents are circulating a petition on ipetitions.com that seeks to have O’Grady removed from her position, citing “blatant disregard for her oath.” The petition, started Jan. 26 and addressed to Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy, garnered over 2,300 by Wednesday afternoon, and that number was climbing fast.
O’Grady’s late-night post knowingly and blatantly violated her sworn duty, her oath of office and the Hatch Act, a 1939 federal law which states that federal employees must “maintain a federal workforce that is free from partisan political influence or coercion.”
Not only is Donald Trump protected by the Secret Service as the president, he also relied on them during the campaign, according to CNN.
O’Grady told the Washington Examiner that she wasn’t implying she wouldn’t take a bullet for Trump
“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.
That is not an excuse. A person in O’Grady’s position is assumed to have gotten there because of her keen judgment and calm demeanor in stressful situations, and her loyalty, qualities she clearly lacked not only on that night in October but several times since.
Since? Oh, yes. On several occasions since, O’Grady has posted political photos and commentary on her same Facebook page, even engaging in a small cyber-feud about the Women’s March after Inauguration Day.
“I serve at the pleasure of the president, but I still have the First Amendment right to say things,” O’Grady said.
Ahem. No, you don’t. The Hatch Act and its more recent social media enhancements make that explicitly clear. Every federal employee is drilled on it until it becomes part of his or her DNA, and Secret Service employees are specifically barred from engaging in any partisan political activity.
Did you not attend those meetings?
So far, O’Grady has held onto her position, but that may change. Although the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General received complaints back in October, investigators did not get involved until the story broke in January.
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