‘Several other Secret Service agents’ will be leaving the agency in the ‘very near future,’ Rep. Peter King says
King and Rep. Darrell Issa expressed confidence in Secret Service director}By Alison Gendar
April 22, 2012
More Secret Service agents will take the fall in the Colombia sexcapades scandal, but the agency’s chief is secure at this point, a top Congressman said Sunday.
Congressman Peter King, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, said additional agents will join the six who have already been forced out.
“I would suspect within the very near future to have several other Secret Service agents leaving the agency,” King told NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday.
Twelve secret service agents and 11 military personnel have been identified for allegedly having brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms in the city of Cartagena prior to President Obama’s arrival for a regional summit earlier this month.
King and Congressman Darrell Issa, a California Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, both told NBC that U.S. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan was doing an admirable job getting to the bottom of the scandal, and still had their support.
But even with that endorsement, the lawmakers still have a laundry list of questions they want answered.
On Friday, King sent Sullivan a letter with 50 points he wants addressed, including a “minute-by-minute” breakdown of the actions of the agents and military personnel.
The Long Island Congressman has also asked for a tally of how many times the agency has investigated agents for hiring prostitutes in the past five years — a question that gets at the heart of whether the Colombia shenanigans were an aberration or a more common transgression for the famed agency.
To date, no evidence has surfaced that President Obama’s security was compromised, or that the women involved were connected to any type of conspiracy targeting the Commander-in-chief, King and others briefed on the investigation have said.
Nor has evidence come to light showing drug use was involved or that any of the prostitutes were underage, King and others said last week.
Sullivan “told me that at this point there is no evidence of underage women,” Sen. Susan Collins told ABC Sunday.
The makings of the scandal began at least five days before the President arrived in Colombia on April 12, when the first agent brought a prostitute to his Hilton hotel, the same hotel where the president and dignitaries would later be staying.
The problems continued until shortly before the President’s arrival, when the bulk of the agents under scrutiny were drinking and partying with prostitutes.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut told Fox News Sunday that he wanted answers as to how agents could have thought they would get away with such egregious off-duty behavior while on an overseas assignment.
“They were not acting as Secret Service (agents), they were acting like a bunch of college students away on spring weekend,” Lieberman said.