America

Key Republican Hints At Broader Investigation Of Secret Service

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, is hinting at a broader investigation of President Obama's Secret Service detail after revelations that 11 agents were sent home from Colombia for alleged misconduct involving prostitutes.

Issa of California told CBS This Morning that lawmakers will "look over the shoulder" of the Secret Service as it conducts its own internal investigation of the alleged incident that occurred ahead of the Summit of the Americas in Colombia, which President Obama attended.

Issa says the incident is "part of a pattern of misbehavior" involving agents.

According to the AP, Issa:

... calls it the flip side of the so-called "wheels-up-party," in which agents celebrate once a president's visit is complete and the chief executive has headed home. The congressman says that in the current incident, "you had a pre-wheels-down party."

NPR's Scott Horsley says the president took pains to say that agents usually do an outstanding job. Still, he expects the investigation of last week's incident to be rigorous and thorough.

"If it turns out that some of the allegations that are made in the press are confirmed then of course I'll be angry," he said at a news conference wrapping up the Summit on Sunday. "Because my attitude with regard to the Secret Service personnel is no different than I expect out of my delegation that's sitting here. We're representing the people of the United States."

Politico reports:

The scandal began brewing on Wednesday night, when a group of Secret Service and military personnel brought prostitutes to their rooms at a Cartagena hotel housing the advance team for Obama's visit, as well as delegations from other countries, lawmakers briefed on the situation said.

The women showed identification and registered as guests at the front desk, in compliance with local rules. However, when one of the women failed to leave by the 7 a.m. deadline, a hotel staffer went to one of the advance team's rooms and a dispute allegedly ensued about payment. Police were called and a report was made to the U.S. embassy, which advised the Secret Service, according to the lawmakers' accounts and local reports.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: