Issa and Cummings Seek Facts, Briefing from DOD on Cartagena Prostitution Scandal

April 25, 2012

Washington, DC – Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), the Committee's Ranking Member, today wrote to Department of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, requesting a committee staff briefing and detailed information about the investigation surrounding the 12 military personnel implicated in the prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia.

“Our nation's capacity to protect the President, the Vice President, and other high-ranking officials when they travel abroad, depends on the strong character and sound judgment of uniformed military personnel who, along with the U.S. Secret Service plan and implement those trips,” the two lawmakers wrote to Panetta. “The recent actions of a group of uniformed military personnel on assignment in Cartagena, Colombia, showed an alarming lack of both.”

As the internal investigations within the DOD and Secret Service continue, Issa and Cummings are requesting specific information to include the following:

• A detailed description of the Defense Department’s current understanding of the possible misconduct of Department personnel that occurred in Cartagena on the evening of Wednesday, April 11, and the morning of Thursday, April 12
• A description of violations of any laws, rules, regulations, operating procedures, or security protocols that may have occurred in connection with these events
• A description of the efforts of the Defense Department and other law enforcement agencies to determine if Department personnel have engaged in similar conduct and rules violations in past similar overseas official trips

Issa and Cummings’s letter to Panetta requests the delivery of relevant documents no later than May 8, 2012.

On April 18, 2012, Issa and Cummings wrote a similar letter to Director of the U.S. Secret Service Mark Sullivan.

A complete copy of today’s letter to Secretary Panetta is available here.

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