Thursday, 14 Jan 2021 10:23 PM
Secret Service Director James Murray on Wednesday sent an agency-wide memo, which was reviewed by CNN.
"There has been a great deal of hyper-charged rhetoric associated with the presidential transition, particularly on social media sites. As members of the Secret Service, each of us is expected to remain civil and professional at all times," Murray said.
"When carrying out our duties and representing the agency, we are expected to behave in a nonpartisan manner."
President-elect Joe Biden's security was officially taken over by the Secret Service on Wednesday. The Department of Homeland Security had extended the duration of the National Special Security Event to begin that day following the violent attack on the Capitol a week earlier.
"This straightforward adjustment is in response to the heightened security environment in the wake of the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, and will simply provide additional time for the full resources of all participating agencies to be employed," Murray wrote.
Events can be designated National Special Security Events when they warrant "the full protection, incident management and counterterrorism capabilities of the federal government," according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is supporting regional government partners for the inauguration.
Thousands of armed right-wing extremists were plotting to surround the Capitol ahead of Biden's inauguration, a congressional member briefed Monday told CNN.
The Department of Homeland Security's second in command, Ken Cuccinelli, told CNN the Secret Service was prepared to secure the inauguration.
"There's always problem players that talk before an inauguration, and there are always some that show up," said Cuccinelli, the DHS senior official performing the duties of the deputy secretary.
Cuccinelli added the Secret Service was preparing for the possibility of a bigger security problem than what occurred on Jan. 6 but added the agency was "thoroughly prepared to contend with it.''
Several officials told CNN there was confidence in the Secret Service because, as one official said, "They don't mess around."