Chaffetz, Johnson Send Letter To DHS OIG Regarding USSS Culture Report

Nov 15, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jason Chaffetz (UT-3) and Sen. Ron Johnson (WI) released the following statement regarding a letter recently sent to the Department of Homeland Security Deputy Inspector General Edwards:

Eighteen months ago the DHS OIG promised Congress it would conduct an independent review of the culture of the United States Secret Service (USSS). Just this week, we learned that one of the supervisors involved in investigating the sexual misconduct in Cartagena, Colombia last year has himself been disciplined for sexual misconduct.

This type of misconduct threatens the security of the president of the United States. Our ongoing investigation has found that the DHS OIG has been inappropriately influenced to soften language in independent reports. We want to know when this report will be released and where it has been for the past year and a half.

Senator Johnson made the following comments:

“Yesterday we learned that two senior level United States Secret Service (USSS) agents assigned to the president’s detail were recently disciplined for sexual misconduct. According to whistleblowers, one of these men helped lead the USSS internal investigation of the sexual misconduct in Cartagena in April of last year. This is like the fox guarding the hen house.

“Charles Edwards, DHS Deputy Inspector General, promised an independent review of the USSS culture 18 months ago. Since that time, my subcommittee has received information regarding similar sexual misconduct by USSS personnel in 17 countries.  This type of behavior jeopardizes the security of the president of the United States and makes U.S. government personnel susceptible to coercion and blackmail. We can’t wait another 18 months for answers.”

Representative Chaffetz commented:

“Reported misconduct of senior-level US Secret Service agents is dangerous, irresponsible, unprofessional, and completely inappropriate. These agents are supposed to be the best of the best. We expect more from them. That those tasked to protect the President would jeopardize his security through such mindless behavior is totally unacceptable. Recent events shine a light on the inappropriate behavior permeating the culture of the USSS that must not be tolerated. A serious and robust investigation must include cooperation from the Administration in order to get to the root of the problem and implement proper reforms.”

A copy of the letter can be viewed here.