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Attorney: Secret Service probing fracas that occurred at Bush speech
Scripps Howard News Service


April 25, 2005

The Secret Service in Washington has launched an investigation into the ouster of three people from a presidential speech in Denver by a man who acted like an agent, the attorney for the three said.

Attorney Dan Recht said he has been contacted by Mark Hughes of the Secret Service in Washington, who wanted to arrange new interviews with his clients.

Secret Service spokesman Jonathan Cherry declined to confirm or deny the existence of the new investigation.

The Secret Service office in Denver interviewed the three and the unidentified man shortly after the March 21 incident at President Bush's town-hall meeting on Social Security.

The three - Karen Bauer, Leslie Wiese and Alex Young - say they did nothing wrong. They said the man who removed them was dressed like a Secret Service agent, with a dark suit, earpiece and lapel pin, and threatened them with arrest.

The Secret Service told Recht that the man was a Republican Party staffer who admitted he bounced the three solely because they arrived in a car with a "No more blood for oil" bumper sticker.

The Secret Service and the White House, which says the man was a volunteer, have refused to reveal his name.

Recht said Hughes of the Washington Secret Service told him the agency sent investigators to Denver and they conducted interviews Wednesday and Thursday.

Recht said he told Hughes he'd make his clients available to agents, "but first, tell us who the mystery man is and who trained him." He said he found it "disturbing" that officials still refuse to reveal the man's name.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan was asked if the volunteer in Denver was acting on the direction of the White House. "Not that I'm aware of," he said.

Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., has demanded the name of the volunteer from the Secret Service and details of what the agency did to determine if he unlawfully posed as a law-enforcement official.

Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., has called for an investigation into the incident by the inspector general who oversees the agency.



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