Lawmaker: More Secret Service resignations are coming

2:14 PM, Apr 19, 2012   |    comments
(By Win McNamee, Getty Images)
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By Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY

More Secret Service officials are expected to resign later today or tomorrow in wake of the prostitute scandal that has shaken the agency charged with protecting the president, according to a senior lawmaker.

"It is our understanding the resignations could come today or tomorrow," said Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, who has been briefed by Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan.

The resignations would follow the Secret Service announcement Wednesday that three of the agency's officials who were involved in the prostitution scandal were leaving their posts. One official resigned. Another described as a supervisor employee was allowed to retire, and the agency moved to dismiss another supervisory employee for cause.

Eleven agents and at least 10 military service members -- all part of an advance team that traveled to Colombia ahead of President Obama's visit last weekend for the Summit of the Americas -- allegedly brought as many as 21 prostitutes to a hotel to Cartagena.

Meanwhile, the New York Daily News is reporting it has pictures of the woman whose complaints about lack of payment from the Secret Service led to the incident becoming public.

On Thursday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that President Obama hasn't spoken directly with director Sullivan about the ongoing investigation, but that the director has been updating senior administration officials.

The White House as well as senior lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have commended Sullivan for quickly launching an investigation into the incident.

Carney said today it's too early to draw broad conclusions about the Secret Service prostitution scandal, noting that an ongoing investigation is less than a week old.

"We'll await the results of that investigation before we talk about the broader issues," said Carney.

The incident itself could linger: CBS News is reporting that one of the men who has been let go by the Secret Service is planning a lawsuit.

CBS also reported that more resignations are expected this week.

Carney repeated that Obama retains confidence in the Secret Service director.

While "the president's security was never compromised," Carney said the administration will not "pre-judge" the outcome of the investigation.

"We will not offer day-by-day commentary on it," he added.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said the president should take responsibility for the Secret Service flap and other incidents, and insist on a government culture that does not waste taxpayers' dollars.

"I don't sense that this president has shown that kind of managerial leadership," Sessions said.

Carney said Sessions' comments sound like an effort to "politicize something that is not at all political."
Contributing: David Jackson

USA TODAY

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