The United States Secret Service has opened up an investigation into a Facebook rant made by Rep. Scott Hamann, D-South Portland, in which he seemed to imply he would harm President Donald Trump if got close enough to him.
On Friday, Mason Brayman, assistant special agent in charge in the Secret Service’s public affairs division, told the Bangor Daily News that there is an open “protective intelligence investigation” into Hamann’s comments.
Brayman declined to comment further on what the investigation will entail or say when the investigation was opened. A secret service agent told the BDN on Wednesday that the service was aware of the comments, but had not opened an investigation.
Earlier Friday, Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon of Freeport removed Hamann, 36, from two legislative committees as punishment for the inflammatory tirade, which she called “inexcusable and unacceptable.”
In the post, a screenshot of which was widely circulated on social media starting Tuesday night, Hamann called the president a “joke,” a “rapist” and a criminal, seethed against his supporters and Republicans more generally and said Trump is unlikely to serve his full four-year term, “especially if I ever get within 10 feet of that pussy.”
Hamann later said in a statement that he regretted the post, which he said was “inappropriate.”
“This is not language I typically use, it does not reflect my personal values and, while misguided, it was intended to make a visceral point about the devolving political discourse in America,” Hamann said at the time.
Hamann is the second Maine lawmaker in recent years to lose a committee seat after running his mouth online. In 2015, Sen. Mike Willette, R-Presque Isle, resigned from his co-chairmanship of the Legislature’s State and Local Government Committee following controversy caused by his inflammatory Facebook posts about President Barack Obama.
The Good Shepherd Food Bank, where Hamann works as a project manager, said in a statement that the lawmaker’s comments “in no way reflect the views or values” of the organization.
Hamann said in a Thursday email that he is continuing to work for the food bank but that he had taken most of the week off “to address this distraction.”