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California Rep. Maxine Waters, who was once rated one of the “most corrupt members of Congress,” is among a group of congressional lawmakers who’ve allegedly been exploiting a special Sept. 11 program for their own personal gain.
Following the deadly terror attacks in 2001, then-President George W. Bush expanded the U.S. Federal Air Marshal Service, which previously had been focused on protecting international flights, to also cover high-risk domestic flights.
But according to the Air Marshal National Council, which represents the nation’s air marshals, congressional lawmakers like Waters began using the program for their own flights — all of them — immediately following the Jan. 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Upon request from the lawmakers, the Transportation Security Administration, which runs FAMS, “began reassigning agents from ‘high risk’ commercial flights to accompany members of Congress instead,” Fox News reported Friday.
And not just to and from their districts, but “even to vacation spots” as well, according to the report.
Naturally, this angered members of the AMNC, who take their job of protecting the public seriously.
“Air marshals can only be assigned to high-risk flights. That means flights that have been deemed through our vetted process that have a security risk,” AMNC director Sonya LaBosco said in a statement to Fox News.
“When these processes are violated and they’re taken advantage of and they are just tossed to the side now as if they don’t matter, we’re really looking into creating a major problem for ourselves in the aviation domain,” she added.
Included among those who’ve allegedly taken advantage of FAMS is Waters. A complaint reportedly filed with the House Committee on Ethics claims Waters exploited the service to fly to Minneapolis last month to during the trial of since-convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
“Congresswoman Maxine Waters utilized numerous government resources inappropriately. Federal Air Marshals were removed from a ‘High Risk’ flight to cover Ms. Waters flight to Minnesota. The High Risk flight took off with no armed law enforcement on board leaving a gap in National Security,” the complaint reads.
It was during that same trip that she told a group of anti-police “protesters” to “get more confrontational” and “make sure that they know that we mean business” if Chauvin wasn’t ultimately convicted.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 18, 2021
As for her flight into the Minneapolis area, she reportedly requested FAMS despite allegedly already having her own security crew.
“Waters was already accompanied by two armed Capitol Police and two U.S. Secret Service agents when she allegedly requested two air marshals and two more marshals on touchdown to escort her in the airport,” Fox News confirmed via the complaint.
“Air marshals for Miss Waters trip were assigned high risk missions, they were removed from those missions and assigned to Miss Waters mission on top of her already armed security detail from the Capitol Police. That was not an official business trip. We still don’t have any justification as to why government resources were utilized to fly Miss Waters out to Minnesota,” the complaint itself reportedly reads.
In statements to Fox News, U.S. Capitol Police and U.S. Secret Service denied that they’d accompanied the congresswoman.
Fox News noted via the complaint that several other lawmakers also allegedly requested FAMS though they “already have security details.” Worse, in some cases, lawmakers requested the service but then “skipped their scheduled flights,” thus wasting the valuable time of air marshals.
In a separate complaint reportedly filed with the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General last month, AMNC president David Londo slammed members of Congress like Waters for treating FAMS like it’s a “concierge service.”
“The FAMs are now taking agents off of regularly scheduled ‘high risk’ flights to put them on flights with members of Congress, that in most cases have their own armed federal security details onboard already. It has become akin to a type of extremely expensive concierge service for Congressional members,” he wrote.
The TSA has for its part defended its decision to redirect FAMS’ resources.
“Following the events of January 6th at the U.S. Capitol, the Transportation Security Administration enhanced security and law enforcement presence throughout the transportation system to include airports and aboard aircraft to protect the traveling public, including Members of Congress,” the TSA said in a statement to Fox News.
As for Waters, she was rated one of the “most corrupt” members of Congress by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
“In the midst of a national financial catastrophe, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) used her position as a senior member of Congress and member of the House Financial Services Committee to prevail upon Treasury officials to meet with OneUnited Bank. She never disclosed that her husband held stock in the bank,” CREW announced in 2011.
While she was cleared of all charges pertaining to this matter by the House Ethics Committee the following year, plenty of her other questionable behavior still remains unaccounted for.
— Ann (@annFreddyx) November 16, 2019
“Waters has repeatedly used incendiary rhetoric and encouraged the use of violence against the President and other administration officials. Waters’ family has profited financially from doing business with companies who have been aided by Waters. Waters has strong ties to radical anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, who once called Hitler a ‘very great man,'” the Republican National Committee noted.
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