EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Grassley, Rep. Banks Demand DOD Explain Marines During Biden ‘Partisan Political Event’

Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Republican Indiana Rep. Jim Banks and Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley sent a letter Friday 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, Grassley and Banks 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.” (RELATED: White House Addresses Backlash To Using Marines As Political Props During Biden’s Speech)

Here Are The Questions Asked In The Letter: 

  • Who authorized the Marines to participate in this event?
  • Given strict rules prohibiting such activity, please provide the justification for their participation?
  • Did anyone in the decision chain express opposition or reservations about allowing military personnel to be used “as political bunting,” as one observer put it?
  • Did General Milley express opposition to the use of military personnel at this event? We ask the question because of all the criticism generated by the well-known “photo-op” in Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020, including from General Milley, who participated. He subsequently apologized, saying: “My presence in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics. It was a mistake.”
  • Mr. Secretary, do you think it was wise and appropriate to use Marines in this way at Independence Hall?

“The chairman’s office can say whatever it wants, but that doesn’t change the fact that Congressman Banks and I have received no responsive answers to our questions from April of General Milley. It’s been months and months of disregard for congressional oversight, and in turn for the people who elected us to represent them. We need answers,” Grassley told the Caller before sending the letter.


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

The lawmakers requested responses to their questions no later than Oct. 14, 2022. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Reprehensible’ — House Republicans Demand DOD Explain Marines During Biden Speech)

The Caller contacted the Department of Defense (DOD) about the letter to which they responded by referring the Caller to the White House. The White House did not immediately respond for comment.