Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s press secretary Moira Bagley tweeted on Monday that Transportation Security Administration officials were detaining her boss in Nashville, Tenn.
“Just got a call from @senrandpaul,” Bagley tweeted at about 10 a.m. on Monday. “He’s currently being detained by TSA in Nashville.”
Texas Congressman and current Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul – Sen. Rand Paul’s father – placed a post on Facebook about the news as well. “My son Rand is currently being detained by the TSA at the Nashville Airport,” Ron Paul posted. “I’ll share more details as the situation unfolds.”
Ron Paul adds, via Twitter, that the TSA detained his son “for refusing full body pat-down after anomaly in body scanner.”
Sen. Rand Paul’s Facebook page has a post about the incident too. “Senator Paul is being detained at the Nashville Airport by the TSA,” Sen. Rand Paul’s Facebook post reads. “We will update you as the situation develops.”
Sen. Rand Paul’s chief of staff Doug Stafford told The Daily Caller the Senator “was detained by the TSA after their scanner had an ‘anomaly’ on the first scan.”
“He offered to go through again,” Stafford said in an email. “The TSA said he could only have a full body pat down. He would not consent to it. He offered to go through the scanner again. The situation is ongoing.”
The TSA is denying that a detention ever occurred, saying that Senator Rand Paul "was not detained at any point," but "triggered an alarm during routine airport screening and refused to complete the screening process in order to resolve the issue," adding that, "Passengers, as in this case, who refuse to comply with security procedures are denied access to the secure gate area. [Senator Rand Paul] was escorted out of the screening area by local law enforcement."
Sounds like detainment to me.
Paul’s chief of staff Doug Stafford also disagrees with the TSA's position, saying:
"Well, I don’t know what bureaucrat manuals call it, but: an innocent American citizen who was offering to cooperate while also attempting to stop an invasive search was not allowed to proceed without complying."
President Obama is also siding with the TSA on this one, as The Hill reports:
'White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that he didn't have any reaction to [Rand] Paul's "police state" comments [about the TSA].
But Carney sided with the TSA saying, "I think it is absolutely essential that we take necessary actions to ensure that air travel is safe."'
I'll give the last word to the Republican Senator from Kentucky himself, who had this to say about the TSA incident earlier today:
"If you’re told you can’t leave, does that count as detention? I tried to leave the cubicle to speak to one of the TSA people and I was barked at: ‘Do not leave the cubicle!’ So, that, to me sounds like I’m being asked not to leave the cubicle. It sounds a little bit like I’m being detained."
UPDATE: Looks like the TSA violated the Constitution in more ways than one. In addition to the Fourth Amendment violation which we all suffer any time the TSA searches us without a warrant, Rand Paul's case involves another violation of the Constitution:
“The Senators and Representatives…shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same….” according to Article I, Section 6. of the Constitution.
Editor in Chief, THL
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