Judicial Watch announced on Thursday that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security for records that were allegedly destroyed by the Secret Service regarding a 2009 incident between then-Vice President Joe Biden and a Secret Service agent.
Their original FOIA request was made back on May 12, 2020, and sought “all records related to a reported incident in 2009 in which a United States Secret Service Agent reportedly was involved in an altercation with, or attempted to strike, then Vice President Joe Biden” during a photo opportunity.
According to Judicial Watch, the lawsuit was filed after the Secret Service “failed to respond to a July 14, 2020 administrative appeal challenging its claim that all files related to the 2009 altercation ‘ha[d] been destroyed’ due to ‘retention standards.’”
According to the report, an unidentified Secret Service agent was suspended for a week after the incident for shoving the vice president “after he cupped his girlfriend’s breast while the couple was taking a photo with him.”
“The situation got so heated … that others had to step in to prevent the agent from hitting the then-Vice President,” according to the report.
The Secret Service did not deny the incident occurred.
“[T]here are no responsive records or documents pertaining to your request in our files” because “the above mentioned file(s) has been destroyed” due to “retention standards,” the Secret Service claimed in response to Judicial Watch’s request. “No additional information is available,” they added. Judicial Watch is looking to verify their claim that all records about the incident were destroyed and determine the veracity of the agent’s claim.
“We had not been able to confirm whether the report about the alleged altercation might be true until the Secret Service itself suggested it destroyed records about the incident,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis