Two Secret Service agents are suspected of being under the influence after their car struck a White House security barricade. The agents also drove through an active bomb investigation and next to the suspicious package, according to former and current government workers close to the March 4 incident.
New details surrounding the event surfaced on Thursday from the Washington Post, which questioned whether the newly appointed director of the Secret Service, Joseph P. Clancy, will be able to repair the agency. Clancy worked for the government organization for 27 years, and was appointed to the position in February.
The two senior agents were placed in “nonsupervisory, nonoperation” jobs pending the investigation. In the past, agents accused of misconduct were placed on administrative leave, demoted, or encouraged to resign. Clancy also chose not to take any type of disciplinary action toward the senior supervisor working the night of the event, who, according to officials, allowed the officers to go home without sobriety tests.
Clancy said he learned of the accusations against the two agents on Monday, five days after the incident.
Lawmakers didn’t hear about the occurrence until Wednesday, when it was reported by the Washington Post.
“This incident also raises important questions about what additional steps should be taken to reform the agency and whether the problems at the USSS run deeper than the recently replaced top-tier of management,” they said, adding they have a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to agents suspected of drinking on the job. In the past, the service said it recalled agents who drank on past assignments, including presidential visits to Amsterdam and the Florida Keys last year.
“The director needs to send a message. He needs to signal there is going to be new accountability in the agency,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said on Thursday. “We’re still learning all the facts, but I’m still not very impressed by how this is going.”