Records obtained by Judicial Watch (a non-profit watchdog) indicate that the Bidens’ German Shepherd, Commander, has bitten Secret Service agents at the White House at least ten times between October 2022 and January 2023.
The records procured from the Department of Homeland Security through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveal that one of the biting incidents was severe enough to necessitate a hospital visit for a Secret Service agent.
The documents also disclosed that the incidents were not isolated to a single individual. At least ten different Secret Service agents reported being bitten by Commander. The biting incidents occurred in various locations around the White House, including the Oval Office and the South Lawn, suggesting a pattern of behavior rather than isolated incidents.
The Bidens adopted Commander, a purebred German Shepherd, in November 2021 from a breeder in Pennsylvania. The dog was brought into the family following the death of their older dog, Champ, in June 2021. The Bidens’ other dog, Major, also a German Shepherd, had previously been involved in biting incidents at the White House, leading to his removal from the premises in March 2021.
One incident on March 1, 2023, involved Commander, the younger of the two dogs, who bit a Secret Service agent. The bite caused a minor injury, and the agent was treated at the White House Medical Unit. Another incident occurred on March 8, 2023, where Commander was involved in a “biting incident” with a National Park Service employee. The employee was treated by the White House Medical Unit and then returned to work.
The document also includes an email exchange discussing the dogs’ behavior and the potential need for additional training.
The White House has not publicly commented on the incidents involving Commander. However, a Biden family spokesperson stated that the White House is a uniquely stressful environment for pets. They added that the President and First Lady are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all White House personnel and are working diligently to improve the situation for everyone involved.
A Secret Service spokesperson emphasized that the agency takes the safety and well-being of its employees seriously. They did not provide further details about the incidents or any measures being taken to prevent future occurrences. However, the spokesperson reiterated the agency’s commitment to maintaining a safe and secure environment for all White House personnel.
On March 10, 2023, Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the DHS for all records of communication about Major and Champ between the Secret Service and the White House from January 20 to March 10, 2023. The DHS acknowledged the request the next day but didn’t provide any records or indicate compliance or denial.
Judicial Watch then claimed that the DHS wrongfully withheld the records, failed to comply with the FOIA’s response time limit, and didn’t prove the records were exempt from production. They asked the court to order the DHS to search for, produce, and identify all responsive records, stop withholding non-exempt records, and award costs and attorney fees.
The document ends with a note that Major was sent to Delaware for training after the incidents.