Daniel Bongino has spent the last 12 years as one of the most prestigious law enforcement officials in the country. Bongino, also a NYPD veteran, has been serving the country as a Secret Service agent. During his career, he's been a part of overseas advance teams, investigated financial crime, and protected foreign dignitaries. In fact, he's even been a part of President Obama's protective detail. But now, he's trading in his badge and pistol for a platform. That's because he's running -- as a Republican -- to become Maryland's next U.S. senator.
Considering Bongino retired from the agency only earlier this month, his foray into politics is turning some heads. Secret Service agents are largely viewed as apolitical, and the agency frowns on such sudden moves. Marc Ambinder over at National Journal explains:
At an agency that stresses the silence and political neutrality of its agents, Bongino’s announcement is raising eyebrows. It’s not unusual for federal law-enforcement agents to run for office after they retire, but the Secret Service frowns upon former agents who make sudden turns to politics. The agency has fought to give presidential protective division agents legal standing to keep them from testifying about high-level conversations they overhear, lest they lose the trust of the commander in chief.
Bongino has spent most of his career in government. He was a New York City police officer for four years before joining the Secret Service. He spent 12 years protecting presidents, candidates, and world leaders, advancing overseas trips, standing post, and investigating financial fraud. He transferred off Obama’s detail six months ago and spent the past five months working out of the agency’s Baltimore field office. He resigned earlier this month and started his own security consulting company. While an agent, he cofounded a mixed martial arts accessory company called Friction MMA.
Bongino's campaign manager will be Brian Murphy, who unsuccessfully ran for Maryland's Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2010. In a note on his Facebook page, Murphy never mentions Bongino by name, but still explains his credentials:
As a child in New York City, he saw firsthand the impact of well intentioned but fatally flawed government programs. Today, the candidate is a loving husband and father, married to a first generation immigrant whose life epitomizes the American Dream. He has a Master’s degree in Psychology and an MBA, and has enjoyed a sixteen year career in law enforcement, including four years with the New York City Police Department and twelve years with the United States Secret Service.
While with the NYPD, he helped pioneer the use of data to track serial and violent criminals. While with the Secret Service, he traveled to 27 countries in the service of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. He can speak with authority on the extraordinary nature of our great nation, and the universal love and respect we enjoy. As an agent in the Secret Service’s Baltimore Field Office, he was instrumental in the break-up of one of the largest consumer fraud rings in Maryland history.
Earlier this month, he left the Secret Service in order to continue his career of service to our nation in the United States Senate. I am proud to call him my friend, and I look forward to calling him my Senator. And next Tuesday, I look forward to formally and properly introducing him and his family.
Bongino does have an official Twitter account, but it currently links to a non-existent web page.
The Secret Service declined comment to Ambinder about Bongino's candidacy.