A senior agent of the Secret Service found herself in hot water after it was discovered she posted on Facebook that if the time came she would not take a bullet to protect President Donald Trump.
The posts by Kerry O’Grady, who works in the Secret Service Denver field office, were made during the presidential campaign where she adamantly supported the candidacy of Secretary Hillary Clinton. O’Grady wrote:
As a public servant for nearly 23 years, I struggle not to violate the Hatch Act. So I keep quiet and skirt the median. To do otherwise can be a criminal offense for those in my position. Despite the fact that I am expected to take a bullet for both sides. But this world has changed and I have changed. And I would take jail time over a bullet or an endorsement for what I believe to be disaster to this country and the strong and amazing women and minorities who reside here. Hatch Act be damned. I am with Her.
The Hatch Act of 1939 was put in place to prevent individuals who work in the Executive Branch, besides the president, vice president, and senior officials, from participating in partisan political activities while engaging in their official duties. Members of the Secret Service are bound to these restrictions, but the matter is not as simple as it would seem. O’Grady is allowed to express her opinions about politics, but she is banned from “political activity” that would influence the failure or success of a political party while on duty. Therefore, if O’Grady made her comments while she was not on the clock, she likely did not commit a Hatch Act violation.
The Secret Service has said they are aware of O’Grady’s posts and are looking into the matter. They said, “All Secret Service agents and employees are held to the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct. Any allegations of misconduct are taken seriously and swiftly investigated.”
If O’Grady was found to have been posting while she was on the job, or working in an official capacity when she shared her comments, she is subject to a variety of penalties. She could be fined or outright fired even after serving 23 years in the Secret Service.
The Washington Examiner interviewed O’Grady, who said she regretted making the post:
It was an internal struggle for me but as soon as I put it up, I thought it was not the sentiment that I needed to share because I care very deeply about the mission.
She also shared that during her time in college she was a victim of sexual assault, which is what fueled her resentment towards Trump who outrageously bragged about sexually assaulting women by grabbing them “by the pus*y.” She said her post was “very emotional” and went on to assert she had “the First Amendment right to say things.” O’Grady acknowledged that she served “at the pleasure of the president” which is where the scenario becomes treacherous for her career. Trump has proved himself to be an individual incapable of tolerating opinions which differ from his own and it would not be a surprise if he demanded O’Grady’s employment be terminated immediately.
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