Federal Defendant's Statement of Facts

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


William Thomas, et. al.       |   
      Plaintiffs pro se,      | 
                              |      
       v.                     |          C.A. No. 95-1018
                              |       Judge Charles R. Richey
The United States, et. al.    |      
      Defendants.             | 

FEDERAL DEFENDANTS' STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS
AS TO WHICH THERE EXISTS NO GENUINE ISSUE

Federal Defendants hereby submit, pursuant to Local Rule 108(h), a statement of material facts as to which there exists no genuine issue.

1. On September 12, 1994, at 1:49 a.m., a small airplane crashed onto the South Lawn of the White House, killing the piolet but injuring on one else. This action prompted then-secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen to order "a 'thorough and comprehensive' investigation into the circumstances leading to the plane crash," and to examine "the feasibility of techniques and measures . . . to safeguard the White House Complex and protectees therein from air and ground assaults . . . ." Background Information on the White House Security Review [Background Information Report], attached as Exhibit B, at 1, 3.

2. A White House Security Review [the Review] was established with a Mission Charter, with instructions to conduct an exhaustive inquiry. Id. at 2, 7.

3. Shortly after the Review was created, the White House experienced another serious threat. Francisco Martin Duran positioned himself in front of the White House and fired twenty- nine rounds from a semi-automatic assault rifle into the White House; eleven bullets struck the White House, including one which penetrated a window in the Press Briefing Room in the West Wing. Id. at 2.

4. Subsequently, four additional incidents were reported during the pendency of the Review, although none posed a serious threat to the President. Exh. B at 3-4.

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5. The Review interviewed and received briefings from over 250 individuals from various agencies and organizations and examined over 1OOO documents. Id. at 22. The Review also met with groups concerned about public access and consulted with noted architects and urban planners. Id. at 23. At the conclusion, The Review produced a classified Report of over 500 pages, with an appendix of 260 pages. The Report is classified in its entirety at the Top Secret level, and it includes a detailed discussion and analysis of the incidents reviewed, air security and ground security at the White House, and it concludes with eleven major recommendations. [l2] Id. at 25.

6. One of the recommendations concerned vehicular traffic around the White House Complex. In particular, the Review found that

[a]fter careful consideration of the information that has been provided, the Review is not able to identify any alternative to prohibiting vehicular traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue that would ensure the protection of the President and others in the White House Complex from explosive devices carried by vehicles near the perimeter.

Id. at 45. The Review also recommended, based on the same reasoning, that vehicular traffic on State Place and the portion of South Executive Avenue that connects into State Place also be prohibited. Id.

7. Based on the Review's recommendation, and pursuant to


[12 While the Review acknowledged that it could not make public the details of many of its findings, the Treasury Department made every effort to assure the thoroughness and objectivity of the Review. See Exh. B at 7.]

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statutory authority, on May 19, 1995, Secretary of Treasury Robert E. Rubin ordered that:

"The Director, United States Secret Service, is directed to close to vehicular traffic the following streets in order to secure the perimeter of the White House: (i) The Segment of Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, in front of the White House between Madison Place, Northwest, and 17th Street, Northwest, and (ii) State Place, Northwest, and the segment of South Executive Avenue, Northwest, that connects into State Place, Northwest." Defts' Facts, para. 7.

60 Fed. Reg. 28435 (May 31, 1995), copy attached as Exhibit C. Id. On May 20, 1995, the foregoing streets were closed. 60 Fed. Reg. 27882 (May 26, 1995), copy attached as Exhibit D.

8. On May 26, 1995, the Secret Service published a Final Rule, explaining that the Secret Service had restricted access to the streets at issue based on the Review's recommendation contained in the Classified Report. Exh. D. The Director of the Secret Service found that the street restrictions were necessary to provide appropriate protection for the President, the First Family and those working in or visiting the White House Complex. The Director also noted that this urgency had been accelerated by recent events, including the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City. Finding the rule involves a matter relating to public property, the Director concluded that the APA's notice and comment procedures and delayed effective date were not required. Nevertheless, even if such procedures could be found to apply, the Director concluded that notice and public comment procedures for the rule would be "impracticable and contrary to the public interest because any delay in this action will result in an

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unacceptably high risk of danger to the President, the First Family, and others in the White House Complex." Exh. D, 60 Fed. Reg. at 27885.

9. Plaintiff is an individual who alleged, has since 1981 "devoted his life to regularly communicate with the general public on issues of broad concern, in Lafayette Park." Amended Complaint at 2.

10. In the afternoon of May 26, 1995, plaintiff placed a structure containing a sign and a seat in the restricted section of Pennsylvania Avenue. He was approached by defendant D.C. Police Captain Michael Radzilowski, who informed him that he would have to remove his structure from the street. When plaintiff refused to do so, Captain Radzilowski ordered him to remove his structure. Plaintiff again refused and was arrested and charged with failure to obey a police officer. Amended Complaint, 22-34.

Respectfully submitted,

__________________________
ERIC H. HOLDER, JR.,
D.C. BAR #303115
United States Attorney

MARINA UTGOFF BRASWELL,
D.C. BAR #416587
Assistant United States Attorney