scorecardA top House Democrat wants to remove Trump's Secret Service protection if he's sent to prison
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A top House Democrat wants to remove Trump's Secret Service protection if he's sent to prison

Brent D. Griffiths   

A top House Democrat wants to remove Trump's Secret Service protection if he's sent to prison
PoliticsPolitics2 min read
  • Rep. Bennie Thompson wants to deprive Donald Trump of Secret Service protection if he's sentenced to prison.
  • It's unclear what will happen to Trump if he's sentenced to state or federal prison.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the former chairman of the House January 6 committee, introduced legislation on Friday that would strip former President Donald Trump of Secret Service protection if he is sentenced to prison.

"Unfortunately, current law doesn't anticipate how Secret Service protection would impact the felony prison sentence of a protectee — even a former President," Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, said in a statement released by his office. "It is regrettable that it has come to this, but this previously unthought-of scenario could become our reality."

Thompson is responding to possible concerns that if Trump were sentenced to prison as a result of a conviction in any of the 91 felony charges across the four indictments he faces.

As Business Insider previously reported, there would be major logistical hurdles to overcome if Trump were to be incarcerated. One of the biggest concerns would be what happens to Trump's Secret Service detail. By law, former presidents and their spouses are entitled to lifetime protection unless they decline to accept the security. The children of former presidents are also entitled to protection until they turn 16.

Trump's first criminal trial began in Manhattan earlier this week. New York prosecutors allege that the former president falsified business records related to hush money paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. On paper, Trump could face over 600 years in prison based on the combined charges of the four cases pending against him. In reality, he would likely serve a lot less based on sentencing guidelines. The maximum sentence on each count Trump faces in New York is four years of prison.

Under Thompson's bill, any Secret Service protectee would have their security stripped if convicted of a state or federal offense that is punishable by at least a year in prison. The legislation does not mention Trump directly. As such, it could apply to any future president, vice president, and their families. The Secret Service also protects major presidential candidates.

It's unlikely Thompson's bill will pass through the House, where Republicans hold a narrow majority. Still, it is notable that a Democrat as senior as Thompson is responding to Trump's legal struggles this way. President Joe Biden and his campaign have been largely quiet on the Manhattan trial.




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