Hearing Wrap Up: House Oversight Hearing on USSS IG Report on March 4th WH Incident

Published: May 14, 2015

HOUSE OVERSIGHT FULL COMMMITTEE HEARING

U.S. Secret Service: Accountability for March 4, 2015 Incident

Witness: John Roth, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Takeaways:

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inconsistently applies disciplinary action to agents guilty of misconduct – especially within the Secret Service. This lack of consistency, along with the fear of retaliation for reporting misconduct to superiors, has led to deep-seeded morale problems throughout the agency.
  • Determining and executing appropriate disciplinary action against the senior agents involved in the March 4, 2015 incident will be a defining moment for Director Clancy and Secretary Johnson.
  • Policies surrounding the use of alcohol at DHS are vague and “functionally unenforceable,” said IG Roth. Additionally, Mr. Roth said, “no one within the Secret Service” understood these policies.

 

Hearing Purpose: 

  • To examine the Inspector General’s newly released report on its investigation into the March 4, 2015 incident at the White House Complex.
  • The hearing is a follow-up to a March 24th hearing where Director Joseph Clancy fielded questions about the March 4th incident and addressed longstanding issues facing the agency.

 

Background:

  • On March 10, 2015, allegations of misconduct were referred to the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General. The allegations related to an incident on March 4, 2015 in which two agents interfered with an active bomb investigation, possibly while under the influence of alcohol.
  • On May 14, 2015, the DHS IG released a review of the investigation into the events that took place on March 4, at the White House. Click here to view the report.

 

Key Videos:

Chaffetz: “THIS is a pivotal moment for the Secret Service. THIS is the time when we find out if Director Clancy and Secretary Johnson have the guts to do what needs to be done.”           

 

DeSantis: “What does the (Secret Service) need to be doing to correct (its) cultural problems?” 

Walker: “Most Secret Service agents (know) that if you’ve been drinking, it’s probably not a good idea to get in to your government issued vehicle.”