Hearing Wrap Up – USSS: Holding the Protectors Accountable

Published: Mar 24, 2015

HOUSE OVERSIGHT FULL COMMITTEE HEARING

USSS: HOLDING THE PROTECTORS ACCOUNTABLE

Witness: Joseph P. Clancy, Director, United States Secret Service (USSS)  

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO OF THE MARCH 4TH INCIDENT

Takeaways:

  • Bipartisan agreement that USSS is lacking in accountability and transparency.   
  • Major unanswered questions surround USSS’s ineffective response to the bomb threat on March 4, 2015.
  • Director Clancy cannot provide adequate answers to basic questions about the March 4th incident at the White House.
  • No agents or officers have been disciplined as a result of the March 4th incident.

Hearing Purpose:

  • To examine recent and longstanding problems at USSS, including a recent March 4th incident at the White House.
  • Receive an update on the agencies implementation of recommendations given by the independent U.S. Secret Service Protective Mission Panel.

Background:

  • On March 4, 2015,  high-ranking Secret Service agents, who were allegedly drinking and driving after a retirement party for a colleague, drove through a temporary barricade within feet of a suspicious package near the White House.  The two agents were not given a sobriety test and were allowed to leave the scene.
  • On March 17, 2015, Director Joseph Clancy briefed Members of Congress about the incident. Members were left with more questions than answers.
  • Four USSS officers on duty before or during the March 4th incident were invited to testify before the Committee today. USSS would not provide these witnesses. Chairman Chaffetz and Ranking member Cummings expressed bipartisan disappointment in the news.
  • The Committee previously held a hearing on February 12, 2015, where they heard recommendations from members of the U.S. Secret Service Protective Mission Panel on ways to improve the agency.     

 

Key Videos:

Chaffetz:“We are not playing games. This is the life, safety, and security of the President of the United States and the White House. DON’T LET ANYBODY GET IN THAT GATE… I want to see determination. I want those officers and agents to know, we got their back.   

Mulvaney: “Has (the Secret Service) always been this bad?… What changed?”

Gowdy: “Congress has a constitutional duty to provide oversight… why not turn over all video (of the incident) to the Committee?”