Two top Secret Service agents are currently being investigated after the pair drove their government-issued vehicle into a security barricade at The White House while drunk. The Washington Post is reporting two high-ranking agents including a top member who is part of President Barack Obama’s protective detail, were placed on “non-operational duty,” while the White House investigates allegations surrounding their incident. The paper claims the two agents headed back to the White House from attending a nearby bar for the retirement party of a colleague’s on March 4, at 10:30 PM. Agents Mark Connolly, who is the second-in-command inside Mr. Obama’s detail and senior supervisor, George Ogilvie, both returned to the White House grounds, while D.C. police officers and fellow Secret Service agents were attempting to clear the scene due to an investigation of a suspicious package. Witnesses claimed the agents were showing their badges to get through the closed-off section of the grounds and had their car’s overhead flashing lights activated.
The Secret Service rules bars them from turning on their car’s flashing lights without it being a security issue and driving and operating their government vehicle while drinking. According to the Post, “The vehicle ran through security tape before hitting the barricades”. Officers on the scene wanted to have the agents take a sobriety test and arrest them but were forced by a supervisor to send the agents home. Both Connolly and Ogilvie are also being accused of impeding an investigation along with driving under the influence. In a released statement, agency spokesman Brian Leary remarked:
If misconduct is identified, appropriate action will be taken based on established rules and regulations.
Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman and the ranking Democrat of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, released a joint statement last night saying:
Although recent steps have been made to bring new leadership in at the highest levels, this incident begs the question of whether that is enough. The fact that this event involved senior-level agents is not only embarrassing but exhibits a clear lack of judgment in a potentially dangerous situation.
This is yet another blunder by the Secret Service while protecting Mr. Obama and his family over the years. In 2013, a woman from Connecticut was shot and killed by police officers, after she drove rammed her car into a temporary security barrier right outside the White House. Her 1-year-old child was inside the car and luckily was unharmed. Last year a man was able to make it right through the front door of the White House before agents apprehended him.