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Secret Service considering extending protection to Biden, Sanders

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Posted at 6:11 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 20:11:32-05

One day after Dr. Jill Biden fended off a protester from reaching her husband and former Vice President Joe Biden at a Los Angeles rally, a Secret Service official told CNN it is reconsidering when it will extend protection to candidates.

The official told CNN that it had plans to roll out candidate protection around mid-March when the agency expected the field of Democratic Party candidates to dwindle to two. But with Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders now clearly the party's two frontrunners, the Secret Service is reconsidering its timetable.

The report came on the same day that the House Homeland Security committee chair sent a letter to the Secret Service recommending protection for the candidates.

In 2017, the Secret Service spelled out guidelines on when candidates would receive protection. The criteria spells out that a de facto party nominee and running mate would receive protection. Protection could also be extended to candidates based on standing in the polls and threats against the candidate.

On Tuesday, Biden's rally was interrupted when two protesters jumped onto the stage. One protester was hauled away by a private security guard, and another was held back by Dr. Jill Biden and campaign manager Symone Sanders.