Secret Service protection stepped up for Biden in preparation for possible win
Extra security reinforcements are being prepared to help protect former vice president Joe Biden as the election results are still being counted.
Plans are being made to increase security measures for former vice president Joe Biden, according to multiple reports.
The Washington Post reports the Secret Service is sending additional agents to Wilmington, Delaware due to the possibility he may soon claim victory in the 2020 presidential election, according to two people familiar with the plans. The agents were deployed to add to the protective bubble around Biden after his campaign informed the agency he would continue to use a local convention center in preparation for a likely prime-time speech on Friday night.
Secret Service spokeswoman Catherine Milhoan declined to comment. She informed the outlet that plans involving the POTUS or potential POTUS-elect are not publicly discussed for safety reasons. A Biden campaign aide also declined to comment. The sources who shared the provided information spoke on the condition of anonymity.
While the votes are still being tallied, dozens of security agents are already on duty protecting Biden’s campaign stronghold at Wilmington’s Chase Center on the Riverfront convention center. The additional security is expected to begin today. Although the number of Secret Service agents will be increased, it does not, however, equal the full protective detail that accompanies a president-elect, according to the Washington Post.
The outlet reports that in previous elections the Secret Service typically begins to amplify protection for a president-elect immediately after they’ve been declared the winner by assigning a new raft of agents to the incoming president. That increase has historically occurred on election night after one candidate concedes and the other gives a victory speech.
This year, things are different due to the nature of the election. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many voters to use absentee ballots and a final count is still being made in several states. President Donald Trump has also used his platform to question the legality of the election. As Biden moved ahead in Georgia and Pennsylvania, POTUS claimed his opponent cheated, theGrio reported.
“This is a case when they are trying to steal an election, they are trying to rig an election,” Trump said, according to the report.
If Biden is named the clear winner and Trump does not concede, the Secret Service could possibly delay Biden’s protection as president-elect under protocol until the Electoral College meets in mid-December to certify the vote results. A former agent says, however, that the agency will likely step-up their protection efforts beforehand.
The Secret Service has faced this decision before in 2000 when former vice president Al Gore and George W. Bush faced off. For 36 days, there was no official president-elect and according to the Post, the agency kept the vice-presidential protective detail with Gore and continued to protect Bush as a major candidate.
Despite Trump and his supporter’s insistence that voter fraud is skewing election results and that some have advocated violence in the wake of a Trump defeat, the additional Secret Service protection is not due to any threat assessment, a law enforcement source told CNN.
“This is as expected. It’s actually a little bit delayed,” the source said. “It’s not telegraphing any specific concern.”
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!