Secret Service Misconduct: Secret Service & Prostitution?, Members of Congress are swooping in to investigate the prostitution scandal involving a Secret Service unit assigned to Colombia in advance of President Obama’s visit, as the internal probe broadens and the incident casts a shadow over the president’s Latin American trip.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told Fox News that he’s directed his staff to launch an “immediate investigation” — he said his panel will likely hold a hearing on the incident.
“They leave themselves open to threats, to blackmail,” King said Sunday of the agents.
The congressman said the incident “tarnishes” the image of the Secret Service, though he praised the way the agency’s probe has been conducted and voiced confidence in Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan.
King called the incident an “aberration.”
Rep. Darrell Issa, though, said Sunday that he believes the potential misconduct is not a first.
“Things like this don’t happen once if they didn’t happen before,” Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
He said his staff will participate in what he described as an “over-the-shoulder investigation” to find out how the incident happened and “how often has this happened before.”
“This kind of a breach is a breach in the federal workforce’s most elite protective unit,” he said. Issa said he was not satisfied by claims that Obama was never in danger, considering the questions the incident raises.
“What happens if somebody six months ago, six years ago, became the victim of their own misconduct and is now being blackmailed?” he said. “The question is, is the whole organization in need of some soul-searching, some changes.”
The Secret Service scandal is the latest example of federal workers coming under the congressional microscope for their conduct. Issa’s committee and others are also opening a probe into the General Services Administration after an internal report found the agency spent more than $820,000 on a Las Vegas conference.