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Rep. Thompson Wants to Ban Secret Service Protection For Imprisoned Presidents

Bennie Thompson speaks at a podium with arms held out in question. Two other men stand behind him.
Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, is flanked by Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., left, and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., as they criticize House Republicans for pursuing impeachment of Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The U.S. Secret Service would not be able to provide protection for former presidents or others sentenced to a year or more in prison under a resolution U.S. House Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., introduced on Friday, April 19—three days before opening arguments began in former President Donald Trump’s election interference trial in New York City.

“Unfortunately, current law doesn’t anticipate how Secret Service protection would impact the felony prison sentence of a protectee—even a former President. It is regrettable that it has come to this, but this previously unthought-of scenario could become our reality,” Thompson, who is the ranking member on the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement on April 19. “Therefore, it is necessary for us to be prepared and update the law so the American people can be assured that protective status does not translate into special treatment—and that those who are sentenced to prison will indeed serve the time required of them.”

The DISGRACED Former Protectees Act would amend 18 U.S.C. § 3056A, which outlines the U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division’s duties and procedures, to prevent the division from protecting a person who was convicted of a federal or state offense and sentenced to a year or more in prison.

A view from above of former president Donald Trump sitting at a table in a court room
ormer President Donald Trump arrives at Manhattan criminal court with his legal team ahead of the start of jury selection in New York on Monday, April 15, 2024. Photo by Jabin Botsford/Washington Post via AP, Pool

The co-sponsors of the resolution are U.S. House Reps. Troy A. Carter Sr., D-Louisiana; Barbara Lee, D-California; Frederica Wilson, D-Florida; Yvette D. Clarke, D-New York; Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-New Jersey; Jasmine Crockett, D-Missouri; Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio; and Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee.

The bill, also known as H.R. 8081, is in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, but is unlikely to advance or become law so long as Republicans cling narrowly to control of the House.

In addition to his New York state trial over 2016 hush-money payments, Trump also faces federal charges in Washington, D.C., over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the resulting January 6th U.S. Capitol insurrection; federal charges in Florida over his handling and retention of classified documents in Florida; and state charges in Georgia over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results there.

Trump became the first former or current president in history to face indictment in 2023 and would be the first to serve time in prison if convicted and sentenced to serve time in any of his trials.

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