Senior Secret Service Official Proposed Embarrassing a Critic in Congress

1 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Investigation: Secret Service tried to discredit congressman critical of agency.

At 10 a.m. on March 24, Rep. Scores of US secret service employees improperly accessed the decade-old, unsuccessful job application of a congressman who was investigating scandals inside the agency, a new government report said Wednesday. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah speaks at the start of a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Secret Service accountability stemming from a March 4, 2015, incident. An assistant director suggested leaking embarrassing information to retaliate against Representative Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, chairman of the House oversight committee. The actions by the employees could represent criminal violations under the US Privacy Act, said the report by the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general, John Roth. “It doesn’t take a lawyer explaining the nuances of the Privacy Act to know that the conduct that occurred here – by dozens of agents in every part of the agency – was wrong,” the report said.

An investigation into the eventual leak of the information by the Department Homeland Security’s inspector general found that, in all, at least 45 Secret Service agents accessed the Chaffetz file, potential criminal violations of the U.S. The inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, which includes the Secret Service, concluded that last March and April, about 45 employees accessed Mr. The report discloses an email in which Ed Lowery, the agency’s assistant director for training, wrote that “some information that he might be find embarrassing needs to get out.” The report says Roth told investigators he believed at the time that such disclosures would be “inappropriate” and explained that his email was a human reaction by someone frustrated by “stress and … anger.” The report specifically said Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy, whom President Barack Obama appointed in February to clean up a long series of scandals at the agency, was not aware of the improper behavior. Johnson did not disclose whether any employees had been punished. “It’s intimidating,” Chaffetz said. “It’s what it was supposed to be.” “I am confident that U.S.

Clancy said he did not learn of the effort to access the congressman’s file while he was testifying before the committee until a week later on April 1. During the March hearing, Clancy testified for the third time about an incident weeks earlier in which two senior agents were accused of drinking for several hours at a bar before driving a government vehicle into the White House complex, as on-duty personnel were investigating a suspicious item dropped on a roadway near the White House.

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