RNC Clashes with Secret Service Over “Flawed” Protest Zone Plan Near GOP Convention Site | The Gateway Pundit

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Credit: RNC

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has intensified its standoff with the Secret Service over security arrangements for the upcoming GOP convention in Milwaukee, demanding a significant revision to the protest zone’s location.

With the event slated to start on July 15, tensions are escalating as party officials fear for the safety of attendees.

Todd R. Steggerda, a legal counsel for the RNC, addressed a stern letter to Kimberly A. Cheatle, Director of the Secret Service, criticizing the current security measures as insufficient and demanding immediate intervention.

The letter, which was leaked to The New York Times, highlighted the “increased and untenable risk of violence” stemming from what Steggerda describes as a “rapidly deteriorating security environment.”

“Despite the Republican National Committee’s good faith efforts over the last four weeks to work with your United States Secret Service (“USSS”) subordinates to resolve the critical flaw with the Security Perimeter in the USSS’s Operational Security Plan (“Plan”), which was the subject of my April 26 letter, the RNC’s grave concerns about the unacceptable risk to public safety remain unaddressed,” Steggerda wrote.

“Rather than dissipating, the overall security climate has worsened significantly over the past month of the USSS’s inaction, as evidenced by the public statements of the anticipated demonstrators. Your failure to act now to prevent these unnecessary and certain risks will imperil tens of thousands of Convention attendees, inexcusably forcing them into close proximity to the currently planned First Amendment Zone,”  he added.

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“To date, the local USSS team has been unresponsive to the RNC’s reasonable proposal, as set out in my April 26 letter, to alleviate these safety risks through a very modest alteration of the Perimeter – namely, to expand a small portion of the Security Perimeter approximately one block to the East to encapsulate the Park,” Steggerda added.

Proposed plan by RNC. The diagram illustrates the reduced risk to attendees (with arrows indicating their travel route from accommodations to the Convention)

The Secret Service has defended its security plan. In response to the RNC’s criticisms, Anthony Guglielmi, Chief of Communications for the Secret Service, rebuked Steggerda for publicly disclosing details of ongoing security discussions.

“Our security perimeters are based on public safety metrics, including protective intelligence, risk and threat assessments. Our model is designed to ensure the highest level of security while minimizing impacts on the public. The agency is confident in the security plan being developed, and will continue to focus on working with our federal, state, and local partners to ensure a safe and secure event,” Guglielmi said.

“Publicly disclosing security information, as done in this letter, undermines our ability to maintain the integrity of our security plan and keep the convention, attendees, and the public safe,” Guglielmi said, adding, “demonstration zones for the convention are designated by the host city, not the Secret Service.”

New York Times reported:

But Republicans say the threat of violence has already emerged against supporters of their presumptive nominee, former President Donald J. Trump. A man set himself on fire last month in front of the Manhattan courthouse where Mr. Trump is on criminal trial, and on Wednesday, a suspicious package with two vials of blood prompted a lockdown at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington.

Some protesters have already vowed that they will not remain confined to the designated demonstration site in Milwaukee, just as some have said that they will not apply for permits in Chicago or be corralled there.

Some Milwaukee officials have also made it clear that they want the security perimeter to be as tight as possible to not interfere with the city’s summer activities, the most important economic time in Wisconsin.

Jeff Fleming, a spokesman for Milwaukee’s mayor, Cavalier Johnson, said the city was willing to listen to the concerns of convention planners. But he pushed back on Mr. Steggerda’s assertion that there was a “critical flaw” in the existing security plan.

“We recognize that the security zone is set based on the vast experience of all law enforcement partners,” he added. “If they were to say, ‘Oh, it has to be four additional blocks to the east or west,’ we would respect that decision. That is not what the law enforcement professionals are saying.”

Read the letter below:



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