A group of House Republicans sent a letter Wednesday to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pressing him over President Joe Biden’s use of Marines during his recent speech in Philadelphia, saying he was using the troops as political props.
In the letter, first obtained by the Daily Caller, House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Mike Rogers and California Rep. Ken Calvert demand answers to a number of questions regarding the use of Marines during a political speech and whose call it was to have them present.
The Biden administration has continued to face bipartisan heat over his speech in front of Independence Hall with the two Marines standing behind him. During the speech, Biden labeled Republican voters as “extremists,” who threaten “the very foundations of our republic.”
“Joe Biden should be ashamed for using our troops as props in his authoritarian and partisan speech. While he was denigrating and demonizing tens of millions of Americans, he used these Marines in an attempt to bring gravitas to his political event despite jeopardizing their compliance with DoD regulations and further politicization of the military,” Stefanik told the Daily Caller before sending the letter.
“This is reprehensible for the Commander-in-Chief, and I am calling for immediate accountability, so our brave servicemen and women are not blatantly politicized like this again,” she added. (RELATED: White House Addresses Backlash To Using Marines As Political Props During Biden’s Speech)
Here Are The Questions The Lawmakers Ask In The Letter:
- Did you, or anyone in the Department of Defense know the contents of the President’s speech before he delivered it?
- Did you, or anyone in the Department of Defense, know in advance that two active duty Marines would be visibly present during the speech?
- Did the Executive Office of the President, or any other organization outside the Department of Defense, request the presence of uniformed members of the armed forces at the event?
- If so, when was such request made?
- Did you or anyone in the Department of Defense evaluate the appropriateness of uniformed Marines participating in a political event in light of relevant Department of Defense instructions and regulations?
- What, if any, written opinion or guidance was created or relied upon by you or any other individual in the Department of Defense in evaluating the application of relevant Department of Defense instructions or regulations to the participation of uniformed Marines in this political event?
- If not you, which specific individuals at the Department of Defense approved the appearance of uniformed Marines in the speech?
- Which specific individuals directed the physical placement of the uniformed Marines in front of Independence Hall prior to and during the speech?
READ THE LETTER HERE:
The lawmakers requested responses to their questions no later than October 1, 2022. (RELATED: CNN Anchor Brianna Keilar Criticizes Biden For Marines In Philadelphia Speech. White House Responds)
The Department of Defense (DOD) responded to a Daily Caller request for comment by saying: “As with all congressional correspondence, we will respond directly to the authors of the letter.”