WASHINGTON – The chairman of a House committee investigating an alleged Secret Service prostitution scandal predicted more firings as key lawmakers and a top adviser to President Barack Obama expressed confidence Sunday that the agency will effectively deal with the incident.
“Every possible lead is being examined,” said Rep. Peter King, who heads the House Homeland Security Committee. King, R-N.Y., said he expected that in the “near future, several other” members of the Secret Service will leave.
“What they were thinking is beyond me,” King told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
So far, the scandal includes 12 Secret Service employees and 11 military members. Six Secret Service members have lost their jobs. One has been cleared and five remain on administrative leave. The main incident occurred shortly before Obama arrived for a meeting of regional presidents last weekend.
A Secret Service official confirmed Sunday that one of the 12 implicated in the scandal was staying at a different hotel than the others.
He was staying at the Hilton, where Obama eventually would stay, said the official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The agent is being investigated for improprieties in a separate incident that may have happened on April 9, days before the president arrived and while the hotel was still open to the general public.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, also mentioned the 12th agent under investigation in an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“Now we don’t know at this point what that 12th agent is being charged with and why he’s been put on administrative leave. But now you’re into the hotel where the president of the United States was going to stay. And it just gets more troubling,” Lieberman said.