A secret service agent has recently been under fire after people discovered that she posted a status update on Facebook saying that, if the time came, she would not take a bullet for President Donald Trump.
The secret service agent, Kerry O’Grady, who works in the Denver Field office, made the posts during the presidential campaign before Trump was elected. In her post, she wrote that she had been struggling not to violate the Hatch Act. As a supporter of Hilary Clinton, O’Grady said that she would rather do jail time than take a bullet for Trump if he were elected.
The Hatch Act of 1939 was enacted to prevent those who work for the Executive Branch, excluding the president, vice president, and other senior officials, in participating in partisan activities while on the job.
Obviously, members of the secret service are included in this restriction, but the law is not as cut and dry as it may seem. O’Grady is permitted to openly express her political opinion on social media. She is only banned from political activity that would prevent her from performing her job appropriately. Therefore, if she made her Facebook post while she was not on duty, she would not have violated the Hatch Act.
After learning of the post, secret service officials have said that they are looking into the situation. They added that all agents are held to extremely high standards and expected to act in a professional and ethical manner at all times. Any allegations of them not following these rules are taken very seriously.
If it is determined that O’Grady posted while she was on the job, she could face a number of different penalties, including a fine or termination.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, O’Grady said that she did regret posting the statement to Facebook. She stated that it was a struggle for her, but after putting it up, she thought that it probably wasn’t the best thing to share. She added that she cares very deeply about the mission of the secret service.
She also shared that she was a victim of sexual assault while she was in college and Trump’s statements about sexually assaulting women really fueled the fire. She felt very emotional when she posted the update but said she felt she had a right to express herself.