Democrats in the House of Representatives are focusing on protecting Trump’s Secret Service

A new proposal from House Democrats would strip former Protectors convicted on felony charges of their Secret Service protection. Although the proposed legislation reportedly never mentions his name, the DISGRACED Former Protectees Act is clearly intended to deny former President Donald Trump protection to the Secret Service should any of the 91 charges against him come to fruition. The accompanying fact sheet that has been released includes Trump’s name in both the introductory and closing paragraphs.”

The introduction of such a bill raises numerous practical questions about Trump’s new situation, not least the question of whether this proposed “solution” has a real problem to solve at all.

Disgraced former protégés and the secret service

When a set of initials is organized to describe a word already in use, it is often referred to as a contrived acronym – coined because it appears as if the creator specifically attempted to form the word already in use rather than to coin a new term. all together, like diving or NASA. Lawmakers are notorious for trying to manipulate bill titles to fit the term they want — and the Denying Infinite Security and Government Resources Awarded to Convicted and Highly Dishonorable Former Protected Persons Act is certainly impressive.

Aside from its cleverly crafted name, the DISGRACED Former Protectees Act ostensibly attempts to solve two problems: how can the Secret Service practically protect a prisoner, and should It? However, it may raise more questions than it answers.

House Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), who also chaired the House committee on January 6, introduced the bill on Friday, April 19. Although no text is yet publicly available, Rep.’s office published Thompson does state a fact. Simply put: “The DAMAGED Former Protected Persons Act would end Secret Service protection for otherwise eligible individuals upon conviction after conviction of a federal or state crime.”

“Current law does not take into account how such protection would occur – or whether it should occur – if a protected person is sentenced to prison following a conviction for a crime,” the fact sheet explains. “As a result, the current law may constitute an obstacle to equal justice and pose logistical challenges for both the Secret Service and federal and state prison authorities.”

A solution looking for a problem?

Speculation is rife about how the Secret Service mice are protecting former President Trump in prison — and let’s face it: This bill is all about Trump, no matter how broadly worded it may be. But few of those researching the problem seem to have considered the reality of celebrity incarceration. If a person sentenced to prison has legitimate reasons to fear for his or her life, either because of fame prior to incarceration or because of the infamy of his or her crimes, he or she will be placed in protective custody or placed in administrative segregation.

In short, the “logistical problem” facing the Secret Service probably doesn’t really exist.

Then there’s Rep.’s concern. Thompson that Secret Service protection could lead to Trump being unfairly pampered. Would the former president serve a very different sentence than most prisoners? Of course – most celebrities do, even without special bodyguards.

For example, in 2010, rapper Lil Wayne was sentenced to one year for gun possession. When he arrived at Rikers Island, the star was given his own cell with a window facing outward. He spent his time cooking, watching TV and playing Uno. In his own words, the eight-month stint he ultimately served was “not that difficult.” Foxy Brown, another rapper once held at Rikers Island, served nine months for violating her parole after assaulting two nail salon employees in 2006. She got to wear Gucci sneakers and a Fendi scarf and apply makeup. She had unlimited TV and phone use and had her meals delivered to her cell by guards. The administration even helped her organize interviews and a photo shoot for a magazine promoting her new album.

Martha Stewart, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are just a few celebrities whose stints behind bars proved that the rich and famous just don’t spend the same kind of time as everyone else.

Beyond these issues, less obvious questions and possible unintended consequences may lurk. What about the families of protected persons? You could argue that if Trump engages in criminal activity, he no longer deserves Secret Service protection — or that, if convicted, he will be protected by the prison administration. But what about his wife and children staying outside? Will they keep their protection even if Trump doesn’t? And what happens if the former president becomes president again? The fact sheet also does not make it explicitly clear whether Trump will only lose his protection if he is sentenced to prison. What if he is convicted of crimes that could carry jail time, but instead gets probation or house arrest?

Is it all for nothing?

But perhaps the most immediate practical question surrounding the legislation is: what chance does it have? With a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, the chances of this bill passing – or even coming up for a vote – are quite slim. Even if it were to pass the House of Representatives, a 60-vote majority in the Senate for a bill clearly aimed at Trump would be a tall order.

Finally, even if it were to pass both chambers and become law (it certainly seems like something Biden would happily sign), one must ask again: What happens if Trump wins in November? That would likely mean, at the very least, the end of any federal prosecutions — and even if he had already been convicted of some charges at that point, there is still the possibility of presidential self-pardon.

In light of all this, one might wonder whether the DISGRACED Former Protectees Act is a serious bill at all. Thinking Rep. Thompson and his eight Democratic co-sponsors really believe this will eventually become law — or is this just more a case of Democrats doing everything they can to Trump in hopes of scaring off his voters?