RNC accuses Secret Service of ignoring security concerns around party convention in Milwaukee

United States Secret Service (USSS) Uniformed Division patrol car at the entrance to The Eclipse park in-front of The White House.

The Republican National Committee is accusing the US Secret Service of ignoring its security concerns surrounding the party’s July convention in Milwaukee, warning that the agency was putting the event at risk. The convention, slated for July 15-18 in Milwaukee, includes a perimeter that encompasses a nearby park, Pere Marquette.

The Trump campaign sent a letter on Thursday to U.S. Secret Service Director Kim Cheatle, demanding she fix a “critical flaw” in the security perimeter of this summer’s Republican National Convention, claiming that attendees’ safety is at risk as protesters plan to descend on the area. Per CNN, the RNC has raised concerns over the proximity of planned protest zones to the pathway that convention attendees must walk to access the venue. The party has proposed an alternative location for the First Amendment Zone that would ensure attendees would not have to walk past protesters.

Todd Steggerda, counsel to the Republican National Committee, wrote in the letter that the Secret Service is ignoring their concerns and multiple attempts of outreach about adjusting the security perimeter, adding that the security environment around the convention was “rapidly deteriorating” and demanding action:  “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 … Rather than dissipating, the overall security climate has worsened significantly over the past month of the USSS’s inaction,” Steggerdas said, adding that Cheatle’s “failure to act now to prevent these unnecessary and certain risks will imperil tens of thousands of convention attendees.”

Steggerda cited statements made by organizers for the Coalition to March on the RNC 2024 suggesting protesters may ignore law enforcement orders related to where they can demonstrate. In addition, many top Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, have reached out to the Secret Service to discuss their concerns. Said Steggerda: “With less than two months before the convention and even less time before the USSS finalizes the plan, it is imperative you take personal and immediate steps to fix this unacceptable flaw in the design of the security perimeter.’

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