Kathryn Ruemmler is rumored to be President Obama’s choice to replace the departing Attorney General Eric Holder. The Washington Post reports today that she is in the middle of the Obama White House’s cover-up of its connection to the Secret Service prostitution scandal in 2012.
As nearly two dozen Secret Service agents and members of the military were punished or fired following a 2012 prostitution scandal in Colombia, Obama administration officials repeatedly denied that anyone from the White House was involved.
But new details drawn from government documents and interviews show that senior White House aides were given information at the time 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.
The information that the Secret Service shared with the White House included hotel records and firsthand accounts — the same types of evidence the agency and military relied on to determine who in their ranks was involved.
Ruemmler is the aide that the Secret Service shared the information with. She was White House counsel at the time. The Post says that she was told that presidential advance team member Jonathan Dach had had a prostitute registered to his hotel room. Hotel records back that up. Prostitution is legal in Colombia, but prostitutes have to present identification when they visit hotel guests, and that information is recorded and attached to a guest’s room records.
Dach, who was a volunteer on the advance team, denies having had a prostitute visit him in his room, but the records say that he did.
Ruemmler was told of the allegations against Dach, interviewed him and cleared him. The lead investigator on the case tells the Post that he was told to keep his own findings secret until after the 2012 election.
The lead investigator later told Senate staffers that he felt pressure from his superiors in the office of Charles K. Edwards, who was then the acting inspector general, to withhold evidence — and that, in the heat of an election year, decisions were being made with political considerations in mind.
“We were directed at the time . . . to delay the report of the investigation until after the 2012 election,” David Nieland, the lead investigator on the Colombia case for the DHS inspector general’s office, told Senate staffers, according to three people with knowledge of his statement.
Nieland added that his superiors told him “to withhold and alter certain information in the report of investigation because it was potentially embarrassing to the administration.”
The White House denies that it was involved in pressuring anyone connected to the IG report.
Dach, who was 25 at the time of the scandal, has since been hired to work full-time in the Obama administration as a policy adviser in the Office on Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. State Department, according to the Post. Dach’s father, Leslie, donated $23,900 to the Democratic Party in 2008. The former Walmart lobbyist has also joined the Obama administration. He works on implementing the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare.
While they remain on the payroll, staffers who favored looking into the White House connection to the prostitution scandal were put on administrative leave, according to the Post. Some of those include Secret Service agents, who say they were treated “radically differently” from the White House’s personnel. Ten career Secret Service agents lost their jobs because of the scandal, while no one at the White House lost theirs.