National Security

Secret Service ramping up protection around Biden ahead of election call: reports

The Secret Service is reportedly sending additional agents to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, Del., to increase protection of the former vice president as he inches closer to a potential victory on Friday.

The Washington Post and CNN both reported that additional agents were being sent to Wilmington. Two people familiar with the matter told the Post that the Secret Service activated the group of additional agents after being notified by the Biden campaign that it planned to continue using a Wilmington convention center for at least another day, with plans to make a major speech as early as Friday.

The Post reported that the additional security measures scheduled to begin Friday will not be the full protective detail that accompanies a president-elect, although it would be an increase to the dozens of agents currently protecting the Biden campaign at the Chase Center on the Riverfront convention center in Wilmington. 

A Secret Service spokesperson declined to comment to The Hill about any increase in protection for Biden, saying that the agency does not publicly discuss security planning or methods it uses in its protection efforts.

A representative of the Biden campaign declined to comment on the matter.

It is common practice for the Secret Service to add additional protection for a president-elect after that candidate has been declared the winner, which has historically happened on election night.

However, three days after Election Day, news outlets have yet to project a winner in multiple states as absentee ballots continue to be tabulated due to the surge in mail-in voting this election amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trump campaign has launched a multistate legal battle in an attempt to halt the counting of absentee ballots in states such as Georgia and Pennsylvania, where Biden began leading President Trump early Friday morning with new batches of tabulated ballots.

During an address Thursday evening, Trump claimed without providing any direct evidence that there had been multiple instances of voter fraud, asserting that Democrats were trying to “steal the election from us.” 

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us. If you count the votes that came in late, we’re looking at them very strongly,” Trump told reporters at the time. 

Trump’s remarks drew rebuke from some of his Republican allies, with former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) saying on CNN, “for the president to claim fraud without any evidence is dangerous.” 

With Biden currently holding 264 electoral votes, according to a projection from The Associated Press, a win in Georgia, Pennsylvania or Nevada could put him just at or over the 270 threshold to take the White House. The AP has projected Biden to win Arizona, though votes are still being counted there as well.

Tags 2020 Biden campaign 2020 election absentee ballots Delaware Donald Trump Election Day Georgia Joe Biden Nevada Pennsylvania Rick Santorum Secret Service The Associated Press The Washington Post voter fraud claims Wilmington

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