Turning Up The Heat

From Holden:

The Secret Service is investigating a GOP volunteer who impersonated a federal agent in Denver.

The US Secret Service is intensifying its investigation into whether a Republican volunteer committed the federal crime of impersonating a federal agent while forcibly removing three people from one of President Bush’s public Social Security events, according to people familiar with the probe.

The Secret Service in Washington last week sent agents to Denver to probe allegations by three area Democrats that they were ousted from Bush’s March 21 event. The three did not stage any protest at the rally and were later told by the Secret Service they were removed because an anti-Bush bumper sticker was displayed on their vehicle.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the man who removed them was a GOP volunteer, but he refused to divulge his name or whether he works in Colorado or Washington.


The Secret Service knows the man’s name, the source said, and has interviewed him. Secret Service spokesman Jim Mackin refused to comment for this story.

Let’s keep in mind what Little Scottie said about this incident on March 30.

Q Did the White House condone the decision of somebody in Denver to evict some people because of a bumper sticker they had?

MR. McCLELLAN: A couple things. One — well, let me back up, to finish. Typically, when we go into areas, I mean, tickets are given to congressional office so they can distribute them. They tend to be given to local community organizations, as well, maybe chambers of commerce. Like when we went to Notre Dame University, some tickets were given to the University, as well, for them to distribute, as they saw fit, as well. So that’s kind of the general process for the ticket distribution.

In terms of the events, themselves, I do want to make clear that we welcome a diversity of views at the events. These are conversations that are aimed at educating the American people about the problems facing Social Security. And they’re also aimed at talking to seniors and reassuring them that, for them, nothing changes. There are a lot of scare tactics, as you have seen, out there, aimed at seniors. And the President — part of this is about reassuring seniors.

Now, in terms of — coming back to your question on Denver, I did look into that a little bit more yesterday, a few of you all called my office to talk about it. My understanding is that it was a volunteer involved in that matter. My sense is that the volunteer thought that these individuals, these three individuals were coming to the event to disrupt it. And those individuals — I think if you look at some of the early news reports even said something to that effect. Now, we welcome a diversity of views at events, but if people are coming to the event to disrupt it, that’s another matter. If they want to disrupt the event, then I think that, obviously, they’re going to be asked to leave the event. There is plenty of opportunity for them to express their views outside of events; there are protest areas.

I think that, to a large extent, this is more of a few individuals trying to divert attention from the real issue here. And the real issue here is how do we fix Social Security. And this is a priority for the President. The American people recognize more and more that there are serious challenges facing Social Security, and that’s where our focus is, continuing to talk about how we work together in a bipartisan way to get something done.

We’ll see if any of this comes back to bite him in the ass.