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No Charges in Denver Three Case

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The Secret Service has responded to an inquiry by Sen. Ken Salazar and Reps. Diana DeGette and Mark Udall as to whether criminal charges will brought against the unidentified Republican operative who posed as a Secret Service agent and ejected three Denver activists from President Bush’s social security event at Wings Over the Rockies in March.

According to the letter, which you can read here, (pdf) the matter was presented to the U.S. Attorneys’ office for investigation of a possible violation of this federal law making it a crime to impersonate a federal official. The U.S. attorneys’ office declined the prosecution.

Salazar, DeGette and Udall have responded with this statement, which I received by e-mail.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – United States Senator Ken Salazar, Congressman Mark Udall and Congresswoman Diana DeGette all expressed disappointment with a report received from the Secret Service regarding the investigation of the expulsion of three Coloradans from a White House Social Security event in Colorado in late March of this year.

In a letter dated July 19, 2005 but only received on July 28, 2005, the Senator, Congressman and Congresswoman were informed by the Secret Service that the U.S. Attorney’s office had declined to file charges stemming from the investigation of the March incident. The Secret Service also declined to identify the individual who allegedly impersonated a Secret Service agent, citing privacy concerns.

“I am disturbed by the fact that three people were not allowed to participate in a public meeting about the future of our Nation’s most successful social program – Social Security,â€? said Sen. Salazar. “As elected officials, we should be encouraging, not discouraging, public participation in open and thoughtful discussions on our Nation’s most important matters.â€?

“It’s puzzling that the Secret Service would take five months to come up with nothing. Frankly, if the Secret Service and White House have nothing to hide, and if no law was broken, don’t the American people have a right to know the results of the investigation and who was responsible for ejecting the Denver 3?” Udall said. “Hopefully the White House will put in place procedures for town meetings that allow all views to be heard and that respect all law-abiding individuals.”

“Political debate in our nation has gotten too partisan and aggressive. We need to encourage people of differing viewpoints to listen to each other’s ideas,â€? said Rep. DeGette. “The removal of three Coloradoans from a public, taxpayer-funded Presidential event on Social Security does nothing to foster civil discussion. While I am disappointed that the White House continues to refuse to identify the person involved, I hope that they will at least make their events open to all Americans in the future……â€?

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