Did the Secret Service "probe" a comedian over an SNL sketch about Trump?

Who knows how many little details like this will leak out in the months to come? It’s being reported that leaked documents show that a comedian who told an inappropriate “joke” about President Trump during a skit on Saturday Night Live was the subject of an investigation by the United States Secret Service. That would have to be some special sort of skit when you consider how probably 95% of their alleged comedy material over the past four years has been entirely about the Bad Orange Man. In fact, SNL had been tanking in the ratings during most of the Obama administration, and it’s arguable that Donald Trump was the best thing to happen to the show in decades. All of the cool liberal kids were making sure to watch, lending the cast an air of relevance during the #Resistance. (Page Six)

Newly unearthed documents have confirmed that John Mulaney was investigated by the Secret Service over an “inappropriate” “Saturday Night Live” joke about President Donald Trump.

A file was opened on the 38-year-old comedian — who recently checked into rehab for alcohol and cocaine addiction — after his opening monologue on the Feb. 29, 2020, episode of “SNL” started “gaining considerable attention,” according to records obtained by the Associated Press…

The gag was probed as “inappropriate statements regarding President Trump,” with the file noting that “although no direct threats were made, due to the popularity, it is likely that concerned citizens will report this.”

I won’t bore you with sitting through a video of the act since it wasn’t particularly clever or funny. Mulvaney simply spoke of Julius Caesar, saying he was “such a powerful maniac that all the senators grabbed knives, and they stabbed him to death. That would be an interesting thing if we brought that back now.”

It doesn’t sound like the Secret Service took it all that seriously. The file specifically notes that “no direct threats were made.” It goes on to say that because of the show’s popularity, “concerned citizens will probably report it.”

That doesn’t mean there wasn’t an investigation, however. The file was opened in March and not closed until December. Does that mean they were working the case the entire time? Obviously not. But the Secret Service did go so far as to request an interview with the network’s global chief security officer and senior vice president. The file makes no reference to an in-person interview with Mulvaney, though he later told Jimmy Kimmel that they had interviewed him. He sounds a bit confused about the whole thing, but to be fair, the guy was building up to a stint in a rehab center for his booze and coke habit, so who knows what he might have remembered or how he perceived it.

I’m fairly sure that the Secret Service has to deal with things like this all of the time for every president. It’s a significant stretch to interpret Mulvaney’s “joke” as a seriously intentioned threat to do harm to the President or a call for others to do so. At most, you might say he was trying to incite the Senate Democrats to do Trump in, but that would still mean ignoring that he was doing a comedy routine on live television. Was he making an oblique reference to Donald Trump when he said it? Obviously. But bad humor doesn’t equate to willful bad intentions.

Now if he had shown up holding a bloody, decapitated head in the President’s image, then I might be on board with locking him up. But nothing like that would ever happen, would it?