Latest News 09-03-2024 00:02 6 Views

McCaul calls for dropping charges against Gold Star dad who protested State of the Union

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, called for the charges against the Gold Star father who interrupted President Biden’s State of the Union address to be dropped.

Steve Nikoui, 51, is the father of Marine Corps Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, one of the 13 U.S. service members killed when an ISIS-K suicide bomber detonated outside of Hamid Karzai International Airport during the U.S. military's chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021. 

He was arrested by U.S. Capitol Police on Thursday evening after shouting 'Abbey Gate' multiple times from the House gallery during Biden’s speech. Abbey Gate was the location of the 2021 attack.

McCaul revealed to reporters on Friday morning that Nikoui told him earlier about his intention to interrupt the address.

'I talked to Steve prior to his announcement on the floor. I said, look, this is between you and your god and your conscience and your son, and the other families,' McCaul said. 'I think they feel that their children have been completely, you know, blown off by this administration, the president’s never called to say ‘I’m sorry.’ And that is why he spoke up.'

The senior Republican warned the Gold Star dad that he would likely be escorted off the House floor if he protested.

'I didn’t encourage him to do it… it was his choice to make, and it was a powerful one,' McCaul said.

Law enforcement said Nikoui was arrested on charges of crowding, obstructing or incommoding. He was a guest of Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla.

McCaul called the charges 'petty.'

'I guess he resisted arrest, and I get that, I was a federal prosecutor many years, but in this type of case, I mean, the charges seem a little overbearing given the fact this is a man who lost his son in Abbey Gate to the bombing in a really screwed up situation,' McCaul said.

The Texas Republican's committee has been actively investigating the August 2021 Afghanistan withdrawal and the decisions that led to it.

Fox News Digital reached out to Nikoui, U.S. Capitol Police, Mast's office and Speaker Mike Johnson’s office, but did not immediately hear back.


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