Gold Star Father Who Interrupted Biden’s State of the Union Arrested by Capitol Police

Gold Star Father Who Interrupted Biden’s State of the Union Arrested by Capitol Police

A Gold Star father whose son was killed in the Biden administration’s botched withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2021 was removed from the Capitol and arrested on Thursday night after heckling President Joe Biden during the State of the Union speech.

Biden had just finished saying, “America is safer today than when I took office,” when Steve Nikoui, the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, rose and shouted “Abbey Gate” and “United States Marines.”

The reference was to the terrorist bombing that killed 13 U.S. troops — including Nikoui’s 20-year-old son — during the withdrawal from Kabul.

Nikoui attended the president’s speech as a guest of Republican Rep. Brian Mast of Florida.

“So much for the right to petition our government for the redress of grievances,” Mast posted on X after Nikoui was arrested, adding that his guest was speaking out because “his son was killed in action at the Abbey Gate due to Biden’s incompetence.”

“Tonight at approximately 10:15 p.m., a man disrupted the State of the Union Address by yelling,” a Capitol Police representative told Axios.

“Our officers warned him to stop and when he did not, the man was removed from the House Galleries and was arrested, the representative said.

Nikoui was hit with a misdemeanor charge of “crowding, obstructing or incommoding.”

The charge carries a fine of up to $500 and 90 days in prison, but The New York Times reported the maximum is rarely enforced.

“This is a routine charge on Capitol Hill. People who illegally demonstrate/disrupt Congress typically are released after they pay a $50 fine, so the misdemeanor charge is resolved without going to court,” the Capitol Police said in a statement, according to the Times.

Nikoui was soon released from custody.

In August 2021, shortly after his son died, Nikoui said he blamed Biden for what took place, according to The Daily Beast.

“They sent my son over there as a paper pusher and then had the Taliban outside providing security,” he said then.

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“I blame my own military leaders,” he said. “Biden turned his back on him. That’s it.”

Prior to the president’s State of the Union address, Gold Star father Mark Schmitz, whose son, Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, was killed in Kabul, told the New York Post that Biden deserved to be heckled during the speech.

“There’s been other people that have confirmed that information that Biden knew — damn good and well — that Afghanistan was going to fall,” he said, calling the withdrawal “a totally epic screw-up.”

“I suspect tonight, there’s gonna be a lot of heckling,” Schmitz added.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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