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1525. Protection Of The President, Etc. -- Relevant Statutes

The primary statutes relevant to protection of the President and other Secret Service protectees are as follows: 18 U.S.C. §§ 871, 879, 1751, 1752, and 3056(d). Other relevant statutes include: 18 U.S.C. §§  115, 351, and 2332b.

As of April 24, 1996, all Federal officials covered under 18 U.S.C § 1751 and related statutes are also covered under the expanded coverage provided in § 1114 of Title 18 for all employees of all branches, departments, and agencies of the United States Government, including active duty military personnel. See Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, § 727(a), Pub. L. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214, 1302. However, unlike § 1751, section 1114 requires that the violent attack upon the Federal official be committed while the Federal official "is engaged in or on account of the performance of official duties." Hence, § 1751 is a broader statute and should continue to be used for those Federal officials encompassed within its ambit. Section 1114 and related statutes are now available, however, for violent attacks upon other Federal officials and employees of the White House and other Executive Branch agencies not covered by § 1751.

It should also be noted that family members of all Federal employees are now protected by § 115(a)(1) of Title 18 against assault, kidnapping, and murder, as well as attempts or threats to assault, kidnap, or murder. However, such violent acts must be done "with the intent to impede, intimidate, or interfere with" such Federal employee "while engaged in the performance of official duties, or with intent to retaliate against" such Federal employee. Violent attacks against the family members of Federal officials encompassed by § 1751 and related statutes, however, do not require such an intent element.

While the threat provisions of § 871 relating to the President and § 879 relating to Former Presidents and other Secret Service protectees remain operative, § 115(a)(2) of Title 18 now covers threats against all Federal employees when such threat is done "with intent to impede, intimidate, or interfere with" such Federal employee "while engaged in the performance of official duties, or with intent to retaliate against" such Federal employee. As with violations of § 1751, sections 871 and 879 remain the preferred prosecutive vehicle for threats against the individuals protected by those sections.

In addition, § 115(a)(2) of Title 18 was expanded, as of April 24, 1996, to cover assault, kidnapping, and murder, as well as attempts to kidnap or murder or threats to assault, kidnap, or murder, any former Federal employee with intent to retaliate against such person on account of the performance of official duties. See Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, § 727(b), Pub. L. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214, 1302. Moreover, the family members of all former Federal employees are now covered under § 115 against assault or murder, including any attempt to assault or murder, directed towards them on or after April 24, 1996, provided such act was done with intent to retaliate against the former Federal employee on account of the performance of his/her official duties during the term of his/her Federal service.

[cited in USAM 9-64.400; USAM 9-65.100]

Updated June 9, 2015