Mr. Kennedy makes third request hours after a suspect is arrested twice in the same day for trespassing on his property.
After a man was arrested two times for trespassing outside Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Los Angeles home on Oct 25, the Independent presidential candidate reiterated his plea to the Biden administration for Secret Service protection.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has refused twice to authorize Secret Service protection, Mr. Kennedy noted Oct. 25 on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
“It’s not right for the President to provide protection to his family and political favorites while denying it to political rivals. During his first week as Attorney General, my father assembled all the DOJ’s senior prosecutors to tell them that he would not tolerate any politicization of law enforcement,” Mr. Kennedy posted on Oct. 27
“I don’t spend time worrying about my personal safety. I do worry about the safety of my family and their sense of well-being and about the safety of bystanders if there is a more serious incident. I’m most troubled by the weaponization of federal law enforcement agencies to serve political agendas,” Mr. Kennedy wrote.
In a letter addressed to Mr. Mayorkas dated Oct. 25, Mr. Kennedy’s campaign made a third request, detailing how an armed man was accused of posing as a federal marshal at an event attended by Mr. Kennedy on Sept. 15, and describing the Oct. 25 trespassing incident involving Jonathan Macht.
Mr. Macht, 28, was arrested on the morning of Oct. 25 at Mr. Kennedy’s Los Angeles property after being detained by the candidate’s security detail. He climbed a fence and asked to see Mr. Kennedy, according to the LAPD.
Authorities said the man was taken into custody at a nearby police station where he was cited for trespassing and then released. Police said he returned to Mr. Kennedy’s home and was arrested at 5:45 p.m. for violating a protective order. He is being held on $30,000 bail.
“After being released from police custody, the man immediately returned to Kennedy’s residence and was arrested again. The candidate was home at the time of both arrests,” Mr. Kennedy’s campaign said in a statement.
Mr. Macht is known to the U.S. Secret Service and Mr. Kennedy’s security Gavin de Becker and Associates (GDBA), Mr. Kennedy’s campaign said.
“GDBA had notified the Secret Service about this specific obsessed individual several times in recent months, and shared alarming communications he has sent to the candidate,” according to the press release.
On Sept. 15, when Mr. Kennedy was scheduled to speak at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, the LAPD reported receiving a call reporting a man who “claimed to be a U.S. Marshal” standing in front of the event venue with “a badge on [his] lapel, a gun, and a shoulder holster,” a spokesperson told The Epoch Times.
The suspect, 44-year-old Adrian Paul Aispuro, was initially booked on a felony gun charge, before later being charged with carrying a loaded firearm, carrying a concealed firearm, and impersonating an officer, all misdemeanors.
Police said the suspect claimed to be employed for the event but was not recognized by Mr. Kennedy’s security team.
The LAPD detective who investigated Mr. Aispuro’s case said in court testimony that the suspect “poses a significant danger in the near future of causing personal injury to others by having access to firearms, magazines, and ammunition,” according to the letter.
In the letter, Mr. Kennedy’s campaign wrote about Mr. Macht that “Secret Service has been informed about this man several times in recent months. Secret Service is aware that he has sent hundreds of emails to the candidate and believes he is being followed by people who intend to kill him.” His obsession with RFK Jr. tends to be at times “hostile and angry.”
Mr. Kennedy’s campaign added that Mr. Macht will likely be released by the time Mr. Mayorkas reads the letter.
“That will mean three people―all of whom have made dangerous approaches to the candidate―will be at large and able to continue their efforts to encounter the candidate.”
The DHS secretary, currently Mr. Mayorkas, is tasked with identifying “major” candidates in a presidential race in consultation with the speaker of the House, the House minority leader, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, and one additional member selected by the other members of the committee, which as a whole isn’t answerable to the incumbent president.
Following the Sept. 15 incident, Mr. Kennedy wrote on X, “I’m still entertaining a hope that President Biden will allow me Secret Service protection.”
According to the Oct. 25 letter, after completing its risk assessment earlier this year, the Secret Service determined “Kennedy’s family history, perceived controversial stance on vaccines, and his status as a challenger to President Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination elevates his risk for adverse attention.”
Members of the public and others in the vicinity of the candidate are also at increased risk of being injured or killed in the absence of Secret Service protection, Gavin de Becker wrote in previous correspondence to DHS.
Mr. de Becker also noted that “many media reports have incorrectly reported that Secret Service protection is afforded to presidential candidates only at 120 days prior to the election.”
“This is not accurate, as you know,” Mr. de Becker added before outlining examples of how President Jimmy Carter’s administration offered Secret Service protection for multiple candidates, including Ronald Reagan, “long before the 1980 election.”
The Carter administration provided Secret Service protection for Sen. Edward Kennedy, Mr. Kennedy’s uncle, 441 days before the 1980 election, “even though Kennedy hadn’t formally announced his candidacy.”
In 1983 and 1987, Mr. de Becker wrote, the Reagan administration provided Secret Service protection to Democrat presidential candidate Jesse Jackson 362 days and 351 days before the 1984 and 1988 elections.
Every subsequent administration offered Secret Service protection to presidential candidates, Mr. de Becker noted. In March 2020, President Donald Trump gave Democrat candidate Joe Biden the courtesy “about 231 days before the election.”
“Every administration for 55 years afforded early Secret Service protection to candidates who requested protection. Your refusal is the sole outlier, making the Biden administration the only one to refuse a protection request.”
Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sent a letter to Mr. Mayorkas, asking why the agency has not yet provided protection for Mr. Kennedy.
“On July 21, 2023, you made the executive decision to deny Secret Service protection to Robert Francis Kennedy, Jr. after eighty-eight days of failing to respond to his either formal request for protection, or follow-ups by his campaign,” Mr. Cruz wrote in the Oct. 16 letter. “This delay represents a stark departure from the standard fourteen-day turnaround for this type of request.”
Mr. Cruz reminded Mr. Mayorkas of the incident on Sept. 15 in Los Angeles.
“This near assassination attempt hardly came as a surprise given that Mr. Kennedy’s original request for Secret Service protection included a 67-page report from a leading private security firm detailing a myriad of unique and well-established safety risks,” the letter said.
Two weeks after that incident, government accountability organization Judicial Watch received 11 pages of Secret Service records that detailed its denial of Mr. Kennedy’s protection request.
The report stated that Mr. Kennedy received several threats from “known subjects” and that he is at a higher “risk for adverse attention.” A Secret Service assessment cited several security threats to Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Cruz noted.
In a letter sent to the hotel where Mr. Kennedy announced his presidential run, an individual said he wanted to “discuss [their] sins” with Mr. Kennedy and that a “madman” may commit a “serious terrorist act.” Another individual regularly sends Mr. Kennedy threatening emails, stating that he will “bury” Mr. Kennedy, that “everyone will die,” and that he will make Mr. Kennedy “suffer.”
“Further complicating matters, the assessment also revealed the Secret Service’s own concession that Mr. Kennedy is likely at risk of assassination ‘for no other reason than [the mere fact] that he is a Kennedy,’” Mr. Cruz stated.
Dennis Kucinich served as Mr. Kennedy’s campaign manager until earlier this month. On Sept. 18, he sent a letter to President Biden urging him to authorize Secret Service protection for the candidate.
“The threat level to our candidate, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., is increasing every day. He is not the only one in danger—every person who attends a campaign event is at risk,” Mr. Kucinich wrote.
“A specter of violence haunts our political process. Indeed, political assassinations pose a grave threat to democracy. It is not hard to imagine the civil chaos and political disintegration that could ensue with the return of the kind of assassinations of public officials and presidential candidates that marred the 1960s,” he added.
Mr. Kucinich noted, “It is astonishing that under such circumstances, you would deny Secret Service coverage to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has polled more than 20 percent in the first five primary states, and whose net favorability rating exceeds both yours and Donald Trump’s.”
He also reminded President Biden of the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy.
Near the end of the letter, Mr. Kucinich remarked that President Biden had joined him on the campaign trail “in one of two efforts I made to gain the Democratic nomination” and that the two have known each other for 50 years.
“I know that you do not want to see America reeling again from the consequences of another political assassination. Therefore, I ask you in the spirit of patriotism, of fairness, and of good conscience to grant Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. the Secret Service protection that his circumstances so obviously warrant.”