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Bridget Johnson

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April 18, 2012 - 5:44 pm
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Three Secret Service agents became the first to fall in the Colombian prostitution scandal today, with the agency announcing that two supervisors and one agent will step down.

Eight more remain under investigation and on suspension as one of the supervisors retired, the other was “proposed for removal for cause” (which can be challenged), and the agent resigned.

“The Secret Service continues to conduct a full, thorough and fair investigation, utilizing all investigative techniques available to our agency,” the assistant director of the U.S. Secret Service Office of Government and Public Affairs, Paul Morrissey, said in a statement. “This includes polygraph examinations, interviews with the employees involved, and witness interviews, to include interviews being conducted by our Office of Professional Responsibility in Cartagena, Colombia.”

Over on the Hill, the chairman and ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wrote the Secret Service director, Mark J. Sullivan, a letter that accused the agents of bringing the prostitutes into contact with “sensitive security information.”

The letter was first released to ABC News’ Jake Tapper, then Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.) tweeted a copy.

Issa and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) noted that Sullivan briefed members early this week on “steps the agency has taken to investigate this matter and your plans for preventing a recurrence.”

“The facts as you described them raised questions about the agency’s culture,” the congressmen wrote. “The incident in Cartagena is troubling because Secret Service agents and officers made a range of bad decisions, from drinking too much, to engaging with prostitutes, to bringing foreign nationals into contact with sensitive security information, to exposing themselves to blackmail and other forms of potential compromise.”

The committee leaders then asked Sullivan for 10 things to aid the Oversight investigation, including a detailed description of events and timeline, an accounting of all U.S. government personnel who knew about the incident, and the agency’s investigative findings including information received from Colombian authorities.

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