According to 18 United States Code § 3056, 120 days before a Presidential election, Secret Service protection is extended to all “major” presidential and vice presidential candidates. But who determines who qualifies as a “major” candidate. According to the statute,
“As used in this paragraph, the term “major Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates” means those individuals identified as such by the Secretary of Homeland Security after consultation with an advisory committee consisting of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, and one additional member selected by the other members of the committee.”
As part of MuckRock’s coverage of all things presidential leading up to the 2016 presidential election, I sent a FOIA request to learn the identities of the “one additional member” who had to decide whether or not to grant Herman Cain Secret Service protection.
Two years and two mostly-redacted documents later, I am pleased to report that in 2008, the additional member of the secret service advisory committee was House Sergeant at Arms William Livingood, and in 2012 it was Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer.
Check back in 2020, when the Secret Service finally gets around to the 2016 election. Read the full release embedded below, or on the request page.