Another Secret Service Incident Leads To Questions Of Drunk Driving And A Cover Up
Last week, two members of the Secret Service were involved in an incident near the White House that may have included driving while drunk:
The Obama administration is investigating allegations that two senior Secret Service agents, including a top member of the president’s protective detail, drove a government car into White House security barricades after drinking at a late-night party last week, an agency official said Wednesday.
Officers on duty who witnessed the March 4 incident wanted to arrest the agents and conduct sobriety tests, according to a current and a former government official familiar with the incident. But the officers were ordered by a supervisor on duty that night to let the agents go home, said these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive internal matter.
The episode presents an early test for the Secret Service’s new director, Joseph P. Clancy, who was appointed by Obama last month after a string of security lapses at the White House and other embarrassing missteps and had vowed to restore the agency’s once-stellar reputation.
Clancy on Monday directed that the inquiry be led by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general, in part because the incident involves such senior officials, a law enforcement official said.
Agency spokesman Brian Leary confirmed the investigation after questions from The Washington Post, saying the Secret Service was “aware of the allegations of misconduct involving two of our employees.” He declined to specify which allegations are the focus of the inquiry.
“If misconduct is identified, appropriate action will be taken based on established rules and regulations,” Leary said. He added that the agency “will fully cooperate” with the inspector general’s office.
It doesn’t appear that the two agents were on duty at the time of the incident, but the fact that efforts were made to apparently cover up what appeared to be a DUI incident raises yet more questions questions about an agency that has been under fire for the better part of a year now. The question going forward is whether this incident will be handled differently than the misconduct in the past, and whether there will be repercussions for wrongdoing this time around.