House Dems Query Homeland Security About Candidate Safety

A pair of legislators have asked the Department of Homeland Security for info on how they are protecting Donald Trump and other candidates at campaign events given that there have been "more than a dozen incidents of violence, arrests, and forcible removals over the past year.

They did not specifically cite the violence at Trump rallies, but since that story has dominated the news cycle in the past week or so, they did not need to.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), ranking member of the Oversight Subcommittee, wrote Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to ask what the department has done to "maintain situational awareness and response capabilities" (translation: monitoring and potentially responding to) that violence, which has sometimes occurred "in proximity to" the candidates themselves.

Again, without citing the recent incidents at Trump rallies--the letter was dated March 11, before the Chicago Trump rally was cancelled for fear of violence--they said that campaign rallies have "become havens for charged rhetoric, which has incited violence, particularly at "certain events" where the potential for violent activity is heightened.

They want a bunch of questions answered, including how the department monitors such events, what it does with that information and who it shares the information with.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.