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July 10, 1996


by Staff Writers The Daily Republican Newspaper

WASHINGTON DESK - President Clinton visited a Chicago festival last week. An incident happened that has just come to light yesterday when Glenn and Patricia Mendoza were placed under arrest by Chicago police after the Secret Service agents assigned to the President's detail contacted them. It has been learned that the Secret Service has consulted with the U.S. attorney in Chicago about Clinton's criminal charges against Mr. and Mrs. Mendoza. Meanwhile, the Secret Service and the Chicago police have two different accounts of the incident.

The Washington Times played a story today that tells of the sordid details emerging from the incident. What has come to light is a shocking revelation about president Clinton's arrogant trampling on the rights of both Mr. & Mrs. Mendoza who were present in the Chicago festival on July 2, 1996.

While the Mendozas relaxed at the gathering, they looked up and saw president Clinton walking into the crowd and attempting to shake hands with people there. As the president walked up to Mrs. Mendoza and pushed his hand towards her, she was repulsed and became angry.

Mrs. Mendoza did not feel it was appropriate for the president of the United States to impose himself on her and she had no intention of shaking his hand. Further, Mrs. Mendoza was upset over last month's bombing deaths of 19 U.S. airmen in Saudi Arabia. The president grasped her hand and she protested with words of protest:

"You suck, and those boys died!"

Mrs. Mendoza has said the president looked her in the eyes, then motioned to an assistant and pointed her out, as he continued on past her through the crowd attempting to get photos of people shaking hands with him.

After Clinton left the area, Secret Service agents pounced on Mrs. Mendoza and accused her of "threatening" president Clinton. At that point Mr. Mendoza ordered his wife not to say anything until she consulted an attorney.

However, Secret Service spokesperson Arnette Heintze said yesterday that "A direct threat was made, but I'm not going to elaborate. Mrs. Mendoza has a right to fair representation of her case, as does the prosecution, and the newspaper is not the proper place to air this case."

Congressman Robert Livingston(R) was angered by what he said was Secret Service overreaction. He said "If you criticize the president, are you going to be arrested by a bunch of federal agents and thrown in jail overnight? That's a frightening thought."

Clearly, the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States declares that there can never be any law prohibiting an American from freely speaking his or her mind. The right to get together with one's neighbors in a meeting cannot be prohibited. The right of an American to complain to the president of the United States for the way he conducts the administration of the White House cannot be prohibited by any whim or law.

Interviewed in C-SPAN Rep. Livingston said "I think on the heels of this FBI investigation, with these FBI files in the White House, this kind of symbolizes an appalling lack of respect for human rights and for the rights of people to speak out in this country."

The Mendozas were initially charged by the Chicago police with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, and were interrogated for 12 hours before they were allowed to leave police headquarters. They are scheduled to appear in court on August 27, 1996. No federal charges had been filed as of yesterday.

Ralph Grayson, special agent in charge of the Secret Service's Chicago office, said his agency has an "ongoing investigation" into the matter.The Secret Service said Mrs. Mendoza made a "threatening statement" to the president.


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