Quantcast
Connect with us

Accused White House intruder is decorated Iraq war veteran

Published

on

The Texas man accused of breaking into the White House while armed with a knife is a U.S. military veteran who was decorated for his service in the Iraq war, the U.S. Army said on Sunday.

Omar Gonzalez, 42, is expected to appear in court in Washington on Monday facing a charge of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

ADVERTISEMENT

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Gonzalez was carrying a folding knife with a 3-1/2-inch-long (9-cm-long) serrated blade when he climbed a fence and made it into the White House on Friday night after President Barack Obama had departed.

According to an affidavit released by prosecutors, Gonzalez told a U.S. Secret Service agent after he was apprehended that “he was concerned that the atmosphere was collapsing and (he) needed to get the information to the President of the United States so that he could get the word out to the people.”

The incident was one of the most significant breaches since Obama became president in 2009 and raised questions about security procedures at the White House, a heavily guarded complex filled with Secret Service officers and snipers.

According to the Army, Gonzalez, who had the rank of sergeant, enlisted in July 1997, listing his home as Puerto Rico, and was discharged in September 2003 after completing his service obligation. He re-enlisted in 2005 and retired on disability from the Army in 2012.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gonzalez served in Iraq from October 2006 to January 2008, receiving decorations including an Iraq Campaign Medal with two campaign stars.

During his first enlistment, he served with the 10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. Postings during his second enlistment included Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state and Fort Hood.

A second man was arrested on Saturday for trespassing at the White House after approaching the White House gates on foot, being sent away and then returned in a vehicle, the Secret Service said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The agency has increased security around the White House following the security breach and started a review of its response.

(Reporting by Peter Cooney; Additional reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Sandra Maler)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

‘This is Alice in Wonderland upside down’: Legal expert explains how Trump’s defense breaches Constitutional Law 101

Published

on

The White House continues to stonewall Congress, refusing to comply with subpoenas. On Tuesday, the president's legal counsel wrote a letter to Democratic lawmakers claiming that the president's due process was being violated and that the effort was designed to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

“Your unprecedented actions have left the president with no choice,” said the letter, signed by Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel. “In order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the executive branch and all future occupants of the office of the presidency, President Trump and his administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances.”

Continue Reading

Activism

White House urged diplomats to stay quiet about withheld aid to Ukraine: ‘Nothing to see here’

Published

on

As Democrats proceed with impeachment, there are explosive new revelations almost daily related to President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that top diplomats were instructed to keep quiet about the temporary freeze on the $141 million package of aid to Ukraine.

“Keep moving, people, nothing to see here,” Brad Freden, the State Department’s acting deputy assistant secretary of Europe and Eurasia, said in an email.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Conservative slams ‘dull-witted’ and ‘egregiously dishonest’ Republicans who won’t stand up to Trump

Published

on

A slew of damning revelations exposed Thursday show President Donald Trump has engaged in massive wrongdoing–including threatening to execute the whistleblower who lodged an official complaint over his conduct with the President of Ukraine.

Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin has been a frequent critic of Republicans who back President Donald Trump no matter what he does. But now more than ever, she writes, supporting Trump is beyond that pale.

"Republican lawmakers, conservative pundits and lawyers who argue that there is nothing of significance in the rough transcript of the July 25 call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky effectively ask that we ignore the words on the page," Rubin writes.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image