BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A total of six Secret Service members have now left their jobs after being accused of hiring prostitutes while on the job and now the scandal is becoming politicized as the investigation heats up.
Weijia Jiang has more on what one Maryland congressman is saying about the shake-up.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are demanding swift action while some say the Obama administration has not done enough at this point, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-7th District) passionately disagrees.
Cummings is defending the president’s response to a prostitution scandal in Colombia involving nearly a dozen Secret Service agents.
“He got folks out of Colombia the moment he found out about this. He stripped them of their security clearance and he suspended them. They have taken action,” he said.
The reinforcement comes after some Republicans raised questions about the potential involvement of White House staff.
“It is preposterous to politicize the Secret Service,” Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said.
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin spoke out after learning one of the men accused is David Chaney who worked security detail for Palin during her 2008 campaign.
Back then he posted a photo with Palin on Facebook and wrote: “I was really checking her out, if you know what I mean.”
Chaney is one of six men who have been forced out so far, including supervisor Greg Stokes.
The head of the Secret Service briefs Cummings on the investigation every day. In addition, Cummings’ congressional committee has turned in 10 questions to the agency.
Six other agency employees are still under investigation, along with 11 military service members, though they have not been charged.
As many as 20 Colombian women are on the list of prostitutes who partied with them.
“We had a few bad apples, but I mean, this does not speak for the thousands of Secret Service men and women who put their lives on the line every day,” Cummings said.
Cummings expects answers from the Secret Service on May 1.
Cummings says after they receive that information, the House Government and Oversight Committee will determine whether public hearings are necessary.