The chairman of the House Oversight subcommittee on national security said the panel is “diving deep” into a Washington Post report that White House aides knew of a possible administration link to the Columbia Secret Service prostitution scandal.
The Post reported that “senior White House aides were given information at the time” of the 2012 scandal “suggesting that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member — yet that information was never thoroughly investigated or publicly acknowledged.”
At the time, White House press secretary Jay Carney said there was “no credible or specific allegations of misconduct by any member of the White House advance team or White House staff.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told Fox this morning that “there were very credible and very specific allegations that a White House staffer was intimately involved with a prostitute. There are evidently hotel records. There are investigators that went down and looked at this.”
“And the White House needs to come clean. This — there’s a White House staffer that was very involved in this. Remember, there were nearly two dozen Secret Service and military personnel that were either fired or reprimanded” in the incident, Chaffetz noted.
“But the concern is that when it came to the White House and the White House taking care of its own personnel, totally different standard. And perhaps a misdirection and some cover-up to make sure that that story never saw the light of day before the 2012 election.”
White House press secretary Josh Earnest tweeted reaction to the report last night, dismissing it as an old story.
“And so I tweeted back to the press secretary and said, well then, you’re obviously not going to have any problem sharing with the United States Congress all the information that you have,” Chaffetz said. “Kathryn Ruemmler, right there in the — in the White House, the counsel that supposedly looked at this, they have done a report and came to the conclusion that there was no wrongdoing and nowhere — nothing to believe that this White House staffer had hired and brought a prostitute, a foreign national, back to his office.”
“So bring all this information and share it with the United States Congress. That’s what I asked the chief of staff last week.”
The Post reported that White House volunteer Jonathan Dach, then a 25-year-old Yale Law student, denied hiring the prostitute. His father is a prominent Democratic Party donor. Jonathan has since started working as a policy adviser in the Office on Global Women’s Issues at the State Department, and his father, Leslie, was named a senior counselor with the Department of Health and Human Services.
“It really is offensive to the morale of the Secret Service, the men and women who served. They got reprimand. They got fired,” Chaffetz said. “You had three people in the inspector general’s office there in the Department of Homeland Security who were put on administrative leave because they were asking questions and wondering why, why aren’t we including this information about a White House staffer involved in this prostitution problem down in Cartagena?”
“Why were those three people put on administrative leave? I find it more than coincidental that you had three people who were asking tough questions and believe that that should — that information should have been given to the public.”