According to a letter the Chief sent member of the House Oversight committee (embedded below), the incident occurred in January 2013 when a Secret Service agent made a frantic call for backup to Nashville police after he and another agent went to the home of a Nashville man, investigating threatening comments posted on Facebook about the President. The man who posted them had refused to let the agents into his house.
“He shoved the door in our face and went around the corner. Looks like, we’re not sure if he … possibly he had a gun in his hands,” the agent told a 911 operator.
In a letter that he first sent to Secret Service headquarters, the Nashville police chief recounted what happened.
“The resident refused to come outside and shouted back, ‘Show me your warrant,'” Anderson wrote. So “one of the agents then asked a [police] sergeant to ‘wave a piece of paper’ in an apparent effort to dupe the resident into thinking that they indeed had a warrant
Apparently the agent simply waved a piece of paper around but he did not have a warrant
As soon as Nashville cops showed up they realized that the Secret Service agents did not have a warrant or any other legal basis to enter the man’s house, and the man, who had a legal permit to carry a gun, had never actually threatened anyone.
That’s when officers decided to pull out.
“I think you can see that had the MNPD officers complied with the directive from the Secret Service agents, there was likelihood for this event to have escalated into a serious and/or embarrassing situation for both of our agencies,” Anderson wrote to then-Director Pierson and Assistant Director A.T. Smith.
But, in the more recent letter to the congressional committee, Anderson said that Pierson “did not acknowledge my letter.”
Assistant Director Smith did call, but “his tone, at best, was condescending and dismissive,” the chief added. “I realized that I was being told, in a polite manner, to mind my own affairs.”
Chief Anderson demanded a meeting with bosses inside the Secret Service’s Nashville office.
He recalled asking, “Do you think it is appropriate to wave a piece of paper in the air and tell him you have a warrant when you do not have a warrant?”
“Answer: ‘I don’t know. I’m not a lawyer.'”
Anderson told the committee:
Because of this, and other events occurring here in Nashville, have found it necessary to issue a standing directive requiring that any interaction or request for assistance from members of the Secret Service must be cleared by a captain or above from this agency. Frankly, this is not a good way to do business. i completely recognize the need for our two agencies to work together, but at the same time find it necessary to protect the personnel I am responsible for from being compelled to engage in questionable activities.
This scandal is much different than the other secret service scandals which involved inappropriate behavior and failure to protect the President. In some ways this is much worse, a failure to recognize American’s 4th Amendment rights against search and seizure. Something that has been happening way too often during the Obama Administration.