gadfly attention whore, Larry Klayman, is at it again. He shows up at 5 am at the White House and wants them to deliver a letter directly to President Obama — and then cries foul when the Secret Service comes out to have a chat with him and find out what’s going on.
It all went down last Wednesday as Klayman, who is also spearheading a legal fight against the Washington Times, decided to directly deliver a letter to President Obama arguing that White House health care meetings constituted a “de facto advisory committee” under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
And he may well be right about that. I’m all for maximum transparency in government and I’ll give Klayman credit for pursuing that cause against Republican and Democratic administration alike (he sued the Bush administration over virtually the same thing). But he can’t seem to do the right thing without making an ass out of himself in the process:
But back to our story. Did we mention Klayman decided to make his unannounced trip to the White House at 5 a.m.?
At a security gate outside the White House (the one facing Pennsylvania Avenue, he says), Klayman walked up to a guard with the letter in an unsealed envelope and asked, “can you deliver this to POTUS?”
After the guard refused to take the letter, Klayman said he had identification, and she asked to see it, according to Klayman. “Then she said, ‘we need to run a background check now.’ Next thing I know, three uniformed Secret Service officers surround me and interrogate me,” he says.
Over the next 75 minutes, according to Klayman, the three officers “worked me over” in the cold, asking for background information and about his intentions. He believes he was “in effect under false arrest.” Even though Klayman told the officers he had to make a hearing in Baltimore, which is why he made the trip at 5 a.m., “they told me, ‘you’re not going anywhere, friend.'”
Finally, two female agents came out and intervened, and one politely told Klayman that he could take off after answering a few questions, he says. They ultimately took the letter.
Klayman tells TPMmuckraker he believes the incident was a result of the Secret Service being on heightened alert in the wake the embarrassing White House Gatecrashers episode. “They violated my civil rights,” he says “I was on public property.”
Well yes, I’m sure that is exactly why they reacted the way they did. I can’t imagine what being on public property has to do with anything, though, or why he thinks they violated his civil rights. In a highly unusual situation, they came out and investigated what was going on, decided it wasn’t a threat and let him go on his way. Klayman is just looking for attention, as usual.