(AP) The Secret Service is coming under renewed scrutiny after a man scaled the White House fence and made it all the way through the front door before he was apprehended. Officials are investigating allegations a pair of top Secret Service agents crashed a car into White House barricades after attending a party late last Wednesday evening.
The alleged incident was first reported on Wednesday by the Washington Post, which said the two agents involved were a senior supervisor in the agency’s Washington field office and Mark Connolly, who the paper described as “the second-in-command on Obama’s detail.” According to the Post, officers on duty wanted to detain the agents and administer sobriety tests after they hit the barricades, but “the officers were ordered by a supervisor on duty that night to let the agents go home.”
Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor sent a statement to Business Insider that said the agency “is aware of the allegations of misconduct involving two of our employees at the White House Complex on the evening of 3/4/15.”
“If misconduct is identified, appropriate action will be taken based on established rules and regulations,” Mainor said.
Mainor also said Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy had been “briefed on these allegations and has directed that this investigation be turned over to the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General.”
“The Secret Service will fully cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General in this investigation,” Mainor said.
A Secret Service official told Business Insider the “two employees” involved in the investigation “have been reassigned to non-supervisory, non-operational assignments.”
According to the Post, the two agents attended a party for departing Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan prior to the crash. Witnesses reportedly said the car’s flashing lights were on and the agents displayed their badges in an attempt to enter a section of the complex that had been closed due to a suspicious package. The vehicle allegedly went through security tape set up as part of the investigation into the package before crashing into the barricade.
A senior administration official confirmed the White House was “aware” of the situation.
“The President is aware of the allegations and supports Director Clancy’s decision to turn the investigation over to the DHS Inspector General for a thorough review,” the official said.
The official said they would not “comment further on this while that investigation is ongoing.”
The Post noted it would be against regulations for Secret Service agents to use their cars’ flashing lights without a reason or to operate a government vehicle after drinking.
This incident follows a string of issues at the Secret Service.
Late last year, agents failed to stop an intruder before they scaled the White House fence and managed to get inside the building. Days after that incident, the Post published a report revealing that it took five days for Secret Service agents to realize bullets hit the White House after a gunman shot at the building in 2011.
Following revelations about these incidents, former Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned on October 1, 2014. She was replaced by Clancy.
Source: Yahoo News