[10 members of the Secret Service] were treated “radically differently by different parts of the same executive branch,” said Larry Berger, a lawyer who represented many of the agents, who were union members of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. [Washington Post]
THE WASHINGTON POST has written a tome on new allegations pointing to an unpaid White House intern and son of an Obama donor getting special treatment after the Cartagena prostitute scandal, when Secret Service officers “ranging from younger, lower-level officers assigned to rope-line security to seasoned members of a counterassault team” were disciplined or fired.
The former White House volunteer at the center of the Post’s reporting today, Jonathan Dach, who was a Yale law student when in Cartagena, now works full time as a policy advisor for the — wait for it — Office on Global Women’s Issues at the State Department. Through his lawyer, denials abound about any hanky panky.
In the wake of the Cartagena scandal, the White House counsel’s office conducted a probe, interviewing more than a dozen staffers who worked on advance preparation for the presidential trip to Colombia, according to a person close to the probe. It also reviewed a single document purporting to show that a woman had signed her name and a room number on a hotel a piece of paper that appeared to be a sign-in sheet; the room number corresponded to the volunteer’s room. The paper didn’t bear a logo, or any indication of being hotel stationery or official business record, according to the person close to the probe.
Before the story broke, Josh Earnest, the White House spokesperson, was already doing serious push back on the piece.
Supposed WaPo "exclusive" was previously reported by AP, CBS, ABC, Politico, The Hill & others – 2 years ago. http://t.co/dk9qV0TbJK
— Josh Earnest (@PressSec) October 9, 2014
It’s no coincidence that this lengthy revisiting of the Cartagena prostitution scandal is coming just after Julia Pierson steps down, with the Secret Service being dragged through the press and stripped of all luster after the latest blunders seriously jeopardized their image.
More from the Washington Post’s report:
Within the inspector general’s office, investigators and their bosses fought heatedly with each other over whether to pursue White House team members’ possible involvement.
Office staffers who raised questions about a White House role said they were put on administrative leave as a punishment for doing so. Later, Edwards, the acting inspector general, resigned amid allegations of misconduct stemming in part from the dispute.
Also, the way the White House handled the scandal remains a sore point among rank-and-file members of the Secret Service more than two years later.
Former and current Secret Service agents said they are angry at the White House’s public insistence that none of its team members were involved and its private decision to not fully investigate one of its own — while their colleagues had their careers ruined or hampered.