The Secret Service is investigating a Denver-area special agent who claimed in a 2016 Facebook comment that she would choose to go to jail rather than risk taking a bullet for President Donald Trump. The agency said it would take "quick and appropriate action" when the post by 46-year-old Kerry O'Grady was made public by conservative newspaper The Washington Examiner.
According to The Examiner, O'Grady posted her comment in October before Trump was elected as the 45th US President. In the post, O'Grady endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and said she would prefer "jail time" instead of "taking a bullet" for what she referred to as a "disaster for America."
"As a public service for nearly 23 years, I struggle not to violate the Hatch Act. So I keep quiet and skirt the median," she wrote. "To do otherwise can be a criminal offence for those in my position. Despite the fact that I am expected to take a bullet for both sides."
The special agent is responsible for the Secret Service's investigative, intelligence and protective missions in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho, according to The New York Times.
O'Grady continued: "But this world has changed and I have changed. And I would take jail time over a bullet or an endorsement for what I believe to be disaster to this country and the strong and amazing women and minorities who reside here. Hatch Act be dammed. I am with Her."
The Secret Service told the Times that it was "aware of the postings and the agency is taking quick and appropriate action." The agency added: "Any allegations of misconduct are taken seriously and swiftly investigated."
In an interview with the Examiner, O'Grady said she removed the post after two to three days of deep reflection. "It was an internal struggle for me but as soon as I put it up, I thought it was not the sentiment that I needed to share because I care very deeply about the mission," she said.
O'Grady said that her beliefs against Trump would in no way influence her duties to protect the president. "No, not at all. I firmly believe in this job. I'm proud to do it and we serve the office of the president," she said. O'Grady said she was responding to the multitudes of sexual assault allegations aimed at Trump at the time.
"But I recognise that the agency is the most important thing to me. My government is the most important thing to me," she said. "I serve at the pleasure of the president, but I still have the First Amendment right to say things."
O'Grady later posted about her support of the Women's March on Denver.
The Secret Service is tasked with protecting the president, vice president, their immediate families and high-level elected officials. Foreign leaders and former presidents also receive Secret Service protection.