Judicial Watch: Secret Service Records Reveal 10 Attacks by Biden German Shepherd ‘Commander’
‘[I]f it wasn’t their dog he would already have been put down’
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it received 194 pages of records from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealing 10 attacks by President Joe Biden’s German Shepherd, Commander, on officers and agents of the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) between October 2022 and January 2023, and do not include any possible recent events. In several cases the agents required medical care, including at a hospital.
Judicial Watch forced the release of the records through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that was filed after the Secret Service, a component of Homeland Security, failed to respond adequately to a December 2022 request for “records related to incidents of aggression and bites involving the Biden family dog, ‘Commander.’” Judicial Watch filed the request after receiving a tip about the dog’s behavior.
Acquired in December 2021, Commander, a pure-bred German Shepherd, replaced another German Shepherd, Major, which was reportedly “given to family friends” following a series of attacks on Secret Service and White House staff. (In April 2022 Judicial Watch released records detailing multiple attacks and damages to Secret Service members by Major at both the White House and Biden’s lake home in Wilmington, DE.)
On November 3, 2022, a Secret Service official at “JOCATDESK” [Joint Operations Center Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge] emails colleagues in the Presidential Protective Division:
Commander bite [sic] UD [Uniform Division] officer [redacted] at post [redacted] two times, one time in the upper right arm and a second bite on the officer’s thigh. WH [White House] medical treated the officer and made the decision to have [redacted] transported to [redacted] Hospital.
An email later that day from a captain of the Uniform Division, whose name is redacted, states that he was advised that the dog was up-to-date on all vaccines.
A November 4, 2022, email report adds details regarding the previous day’s attack. A Division officer, after being bitten in the arm and thigh, had to use a steel cart to shield himself from another attack:
Officer [redacted] advised that ‘Commander’ came down the stairs and walked toward [redacted]. Officer [redacted] advised [redacted] was sitting with [redacted] arms crossed and Commander bite [sic] [redacted] arm (tricep area) then when [redacted] stood up Commander bite [sic] in the leg (quad area). Officer [redacted] stated that the usher did not control the dog and was telling Officer [redacted] to not back up. Officer [redacted] advised that Commander came after [redacted] again and [redacted] had to use a steel cart to sheild [sic] [redacted] self from another attack. Officer [redacted] advised [redacted] was in a considerable amount of pain.
The officer subsequently was placed on “restricted duty status” for three days on doctors’ advice.
In a November 5, 2022, email exchange between a Uniformed Division officer and the November 3 attack victim, the first officer asks, “Doing alright [redacted]? That’s freaking crazy that stupid dog – rolling my eyes [redacted].” The victim replies, “My leg and arm still hurts. He bit me twice and ran at me twice.” The colleague replies, “What a joke [redacted] – if it wasn’t their dog he would already have been put down – freaking clown needs a muzzle – hope you get to feeling better [redacted].”
The new records contain an email dated October 3, 2022, from an assistant special agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division with the subject line “Commander:”
FYSA [For Your Situational Awareness]: This evening [redacted] took Commander outside for his usual dog walk through the Rose Garden. As Commander moved through the Palm Room doors, he inflicted a “friendly soft bite” on SA [special agent] [redacted]’s forearm as [redacted] held the door open. Afterwards SA [redacted] told SA [redacted] (Whip) that no skin was broken from the bite and [redacted] business suit was not ripped in any way. [Redacted] was fine. SA [redacted] advised SA [redacted] to have the WH doc look at it, which [redacted] did….
The event seemed to be minor enough that [redacted] didn’t notice that Commander had even made contact with SA [redacted]….
In light of past incidents, I just wanted to keep you all in the loop. Thanks again to Whip for properly handling the situation.
Secret Service official Darryl Volpicelli responds that he would brief staff.
On October 5, 2022, a captain in the Uniformed Division of the White House Branch of the Secret Service emailed colleagues with the subject “Family Pet Incident” writes:
At approximately 0706 hours, ERT [Emergency Response Team] Officer-Tech [redacted] was involved in an incident involving the Family pet. While the Family pet was out for their morning walk, the dog jumped on Ofc.-Tech [redacted] and “bite” [sic] at [redacted] arm/wrist area. [Redacted] did not suffer any injuries. The incident was reported to me by Lt. [redacted] in the JOC [Joint Operations Center] and said that the ERT supervisor would be pushing notifications up as well.
In an email dated October 26, 2022, a Uniformed Division officer reports to colleagues:
Commander has been exhibiting extremely aggressive behavior. Today, while posted, he came charging at me. The First Lady couldn’t regain control of commander [sic] and he continued to circle me. I believe it’s only a matter of time before an agent/officer is attacked or bit.
He would have bit me today if I didn’t step towards him a couple different times. It was bad enough that the agent on the detail asked if I got bit – just so you’re aware.
A November 10, 2022, Secret Service memorandum describes an incident that occurred with Commander earlier in the day. While patrolling the White House grounds, a Uniformed Division Secret Service officer was attacked by Commander while First Lady Jill Biden was walking him in the Kennedy Garden. The officer was bitten on the left thigh, and subsequently experienced “bruising, tenderness and pain in the bite area.” He was tended to by the White House medical unit and filed a workplace injury report with OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration].
On November 14, 2022, a Uniformed Division Secret Service officer emails colleagues, with the subject line “Family Pet,” describing that while at his post in the White House he “heard the dog bark with a loud aggressive sound.” He then “looked up and saw him at the landing of the ushers staircase. I made eye contact with him and grabbed the black chair I was sitting on and held it in front of me while backing up.” A White House usher “stepped out of her office and climbed the staircase to him,” and took the dog up to the residence level.
On December 11, 2022, a USSS Special Agent in the Presidential Protective Division was attacked in the evening on the South Grounds by Commander after President Biden let the dog off the leash outside the White House. He writes:
The injuries included a bite to the left forearm resulting in bruising and approximately a 1 ½ cm cut and a bite to the right hand on the thumb resulting a 1 cm cut. I received treatment from White House Medical from LTC [redacted]. The injuries were [redacted] and I returned to work the rest of my shift.
An Assistant Special Agent in Charge who observed the incident also describes the incident:
It is to be noted, this occurred after departing the family movie theatre with [redacted] Commander and family members (total 6 participants). POTUS requested to take Commander (on the leash) to the Kennedy Garden. Once at the KG, POTUS took Commander off the leash to run free. I was present to observe [redacted] departing from the Kennedy Garden to move behind [redacted] toward the south ground drive via the internal garden gate when this occurred.
An OSHA Form 301, Injury and Illness Incident Report, shows another dog bite incident occurred on December 16, 2022, when a Secret Service officer was walking from one post to another on the White House Complex. He/she writes, “I was walking across the complex and a dog bit my left arm.” Asked to describe the injury, the officer wrote, “Dog bite, superficial laceration, contusion, soreness, and bruising.”
On December 24, 2022, a White House Branch USSS Uniformed Division officer emails a colleague, with the subject line “Dog Issue:”
Undersigned officer reports incident occurred on 12/23/2022 around 2030 hours at post [redacted]. While first family was coming back from tennis pavilion, [redacted] having her hands being full and no one else around I did try to open the closed door to the deep room for her; at that moment first family dog passed everyone towards the deep room. Having doors not being fully open yet he bit me in my left forearm. One of the SAs [Special Agents] and [redacted] witnessed that incident. Fortunately I was wearing multiple layers of clothing so it didn’t leave any marks.
In a heavily redacted December 24, 2022, email exchange with the subject line “Matters of extreme concern” a Secret Service Inspector reports to colleagues on the December 23 incident:
I attended officials roll call [redacted] this afternoon. The dog bite issue came up again today. Please see the attached email chain written last evening. Apparently, Officer [redacted] was bitten while posted at [redacted] yesterday. Nearly every official in the room with me today spoke about specific incidents surrounding the First Family’s dog.
The remainder of the email, and a response to it, is redacted. The inspector’s email is then forwarded by an official to Uniformed Division Chief Alfonso Dyson by one of the recipients, who writes, “FYSA [for your situational awareness] … PPD [Presidential Protection Division] is being notified of the latest incident, but we need to address this issue ASAP collectively.”
A January 2, 2023, email chain describes an incident with Commander involving a Technical Security Investigator who was looking into an alarm going off at the Bidens’ Wilmington, DE, lake house. He was attacked by the dog when the house sitter opened the front door to talk to the agent. The agent writes:
Commander squeezed his way through the door and immediately bit/latched onto the lower right side of my back. [Redacted] told Commander to get down and assisted in pulling him off. The total incident did not last more than about 10 seconds and Commander went back inside the residence. [Redacted] was apologetic after the incident. After checking my lower back, there’s a 1×1 scratched, bruised spot where Commander grabbed onto and was bleeding consistent of a scratch like rug burn.
“These shocking records raise fundamental questions about President Biden and the Secret Service. This is a special sort of craziness and corruption where a president would allow his dog to repeatedly attack and bite Secret Service and White House personnel. And rather than protect its agents, the Secret Service tried to illegally hide documents about the abuse of its agents and officers by the Biden family,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.