Former Secret Service Agent From Md. Discusses Colombia Prostitution Scandal
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Drinking, strip clubs and prostitutes. That’s what investigators say Secret Service agents and military members were involved in when they should have been preparing for President Barack Obama’s trip to Colombia.
Gigi Barnett has more.
This scandal has been an embarrassment for the president. Meanwhile, the director of the Secret Service promises a thorough investigation.
The scandal and investigation into alleged Secret Service misconduct has widened. CBS News reports agents were partying at a strip club in Cartagena less than 48 hours before President Obama’s arrival April 13.
“Under the rules of this hotel, guests have to be signed in,” said Senator Susan Collins.
Twenty-one people responsible for the president’s security are accused of soliciting prostitutes at Hotel Caribe in Colombia. Those under investigation include 11 Secret Service agents and 10 members of the U.S. military.
Now Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine wants to know if what happened is isolated or a culture of behavior.
“I’m worried that this is the only time that they were caught,” she said.
WJZ has learned that a former Secret Service agent from Maryland says his brother, a current agent, was in Colombia when the scandal broke.
Dan Bongino is a Republican from Severna Park running for U.S. Senate in Maryland. He says his brother is not accused of anything involving prostitution.
“I know this was a large group og guys that made this mistake. I have personal relationships with some of them. One of them happens to be a family member who’s assisting in the investigation,” Bongino said. “This is not indicative of the behavior I saw when I was in Secret Service at all.”
Bongino predicts a major fallout.
“I think the changes will be pretty drastic — rule changes, no question,” he said.
Bongino says he can’t say more about his brother because of legal concerns. He says he’s being up front about this because he doesn’t want it to impact his campaign.
So far, President Obama has not asked Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan to resign, saying he has confidence in him.