A Fox News report indicates that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is being accused of abusing a federal protection plan put into place for Americans protection post 9/11, for personal use.
According to the outlet’s reporting, several congress members, including Waters, are using the federal air marshals as their own VIP “concierge service” for security.
The Air Marshal National Council said that the problem began after the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot when lawmakers began requesting security to and from not only their districts but their vacations.
“Air marshals can only be assigned to high-risk flights. That means flights that have been deemed through our vetted process that have a security risk,” said Sonya Hightower LoBasco, executive director of the Air Marshal National Council.
“When these processes are violated and they’re taken advantage of and they are just tossed to the side now as if they don’t matter, we’re really looking into creating a major problem for ourselves in the aviation domain.”
Air marshals became angry when they were reassigned from the flights they were supposed to protect and put on protecting politicians as their primary directive.
In one such case, Waters, accompanied by two armed Capitol Police and two U.S. Secret Service agents, flew from Washington, D.C., to Minneapolis on April 17 to attend the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. The California Democrat reportedly also asked that two air marshalls accompany her and that two more would be waiting to escort her in the airport after she touched down.
US Capitol Police and US Secret Service deny those claims according to Fox News, saying that, “Congresswoman Maxine Waters utilized numerous government resources inappropriately,” the complaint reads. “Federal Air Marshals were removed from a ‘High Risk’ flight to cover Ms. Waters flight to Minnesota. The High Risk flight took off with no armed law enforcement on board leaving a gap in National Security.
“Air marshals for Miss Waters trip were assigned high risk missions, they were removed from those missions and assigned to Miss Waters mission on top of her already armed security detail from the Capitol Police,” Hightower said. “That was not an official business trip. We still don’t have any justification as to why government resources were utilized to fly Miss Waters out to Minnesota.”