Thursday, October 26, 2023

Kennedy Campaign Asks For Secret Service Protection A Third Time As Threats Increase


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (from his Facebook page)

The Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. presidential campaign announced that an intruder was arrested after breaking into his residence twice on Wednesday.

Gavin de Becker & Associates (GDBA), who is leading protection for RFK, Jr., detected and detained the intruder, who was arrested after climbing a fence and asked to meet the independent candidate. 

The intruder was turned over to the LAPD, but upon release, he immediately returned to Kennedy's residence and was arrested again. Kennedy was home at the time of both arrests.

The Secret Service was notified by GDBA about this specific individual several times in recent months and shared alarming communications he has sent to the candidate. 

This also highlights that U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has refused to approve the formal requests for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., going back to when he joined the Democratic party's primary up to his-now independent run, announced on October 9.

This is a departure from a precedent set when his father, Robert F. Kennedy, was assassinated while running for President in 1968. Every candidate since then has received protection after it was requested, and the Biden administration did not follow that here.

Candidates do have to meet thresholds of fundraising and polling, essentially to show seriousness of their bids, and Kennedy no doubt hits both. 

The Kennedy 24 campaign raised $8.7 million in the third quarter, while his Super PAC, American Values, raised $11 million in the six hours after he became an independent. 

In general election polling against President Biden and the leading Republican Presidential candidate, former President Trump, Kennedy is putting up impressive numbers.

The Real Clear Politics average has Kennedy at 15.3 percent, while Biden has 39.5 and Trump has 38.8. The Harris poll, conducted on October 18-19, was Kennedy's best showing, with 22 percent, with Trump at 42 and Biden at 36. The USA Today poll that was released on Monday and was done from October 17-20, has Kennedy at 14, and Biden ahead of Trump 38-37.

With the threat at Robert F. Kennedy's home on Wednesday, as well as one at an event on September 15, the campaign made a third request for protection. 

Here is an excerpt from the letter dated October 25th, 2023 and addressed to Mayorkas:

As a follow-up to the attached letter, the presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. herein makes our third formal request for Secret Service protection, in addition to the many requests that have been made by others. Former Congressman Kucinich also made a written request to you, to President Biden, and to Congressional leaders. This letter contains new information. (note: the campaign made all emphases, including underlines, red, or italics)

In addition to the many threats and threat content provided to your office in Gavin de Becker's 67-page declaration, your office and Secret Service have also been made aware of a mentally ill intruder who reached the 2nd floor of Mr. Kennedy's home before being apprehended and arrested.

Most significantly, your office and Secret Service are aware of a man named Adrian Aispuro, who recently showed up at a side door to a Kennedy campaign event, identified himself as a US Marshal, and demanded to be brought to the candidate immediately. The man was carrying a loaded handgun, and arresting LAPD officers found he had a second loaded gun (with laser sight) in his backpack, along with extra ammunition...

LAPD served a search warrant on Aispuro's home and confiscated more weapons, including rifles with long-range scopes.

The LAPD Detective investigating the Aispuro matter provided testimony to the Court:

"Based on the totality of my investigation, I believe respondent Adrian Aispiro poses a significant danger in the near future of causing personal injury to others by having access to firearms, magazines, and ammunition"

Please also consider the conclusion provided to you by the Secret Service after their own risk assessment:

"Kennedy's family history, perceived controversial stance on vaccines, and his status as a challenger to President Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination elevates his risk for adverse attention."

Just this morning, another delusional intruder was arrested after climbing the fence and entering Mr. Kennedy's property. This time, the candidate was home.  Secret Service has been informed about this man several times in recent months. Secret Service is aware that he has sent hundreds of emails to the candidate, and he believes he is being followed by people who intend to kill him. His obsession with RFK Jr. leads him to be at times hostile and angry.

The intruder is currently in LAPD custody, but will likely have been released by the time you receive this letter. That will mean three people -- all of whom have made dangerous approaches to the candidate, and all known to Secret Service -- will be at large and able to continue their efforts to encounter the candidate...

Many media reports have incorrectly reported that Secret Service protection is afforded to presidential candidates only at 120-days prior to the election. This is not accurate, as you know. As you reconsider your denial of protection to candidate Kennedy, we add this insight to set the record straight:

 - In 1979, the Carter Administration afforded early Secret Service protection for many candidates (Ronald Reagan, John Connally, George Bush, Philip M. Crane, Howard Baker) long before the 1980 election.

- In September 1979, the Carter Administration afforded early Secret Service protection for Senator Edward Kennedy, 441 days before the 1980 presidential election, even though Kennedy hadn't formally announced his candidacy. Two other administrations had previously afforded early Secret Service protection to Edward Kennedy. In 1968, after his brother Robert was assassinated while campaigning for president, and again in 1972, after candidate George Wallace was shot at a campaign event. (Note that Secret Service protection was provided to Edward Kennedy even though he was not a declared candidate for the presidency.)

- In November 1983, 362 days before the election, the Reagan Administration afforded early Secret Service protection to Jesse Jackson...

- In February of 1992, the Bush administration afforded early Secret Service protection to Bill Clinton, about 249 days before the election...

- In May 2007, the Bush Administration afforded early Secret Service protection to Barack Obama, 551 days before the election, despite not having received "any specific, credible threat," according to CNN...

- In November 2011, the Obama Administration afforded early Secret Service protection to Herman Cain, almost a year before the election...

- In  November 2015, the Obama Administration afforded early Secret Service protection to candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson, more than a year before the election.

Every administration for 55-years afforded early Secret Service protection to candidates who requested protection. Your refusal is the sole outlier, making the Biden Administration the only one to refuse a protection request.

Given all that is known, please reconsider your decision to refuse Secret Service protection to presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, and allow protection to commence as soon as possible. As the law intends, the Secret Service can help protect the candidate and the electoral process, while also reducing risk to others in the candidate's environment, including members to the general public. 

This is an urgent matter, and we request an expedited response.

Matthew Sanders


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