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Meantime, Mr. Sullivan’s move from the Secret Service to GSIS left many stones unturned, according to former agents, who claim misconduct by their superiors was swept under the rug on his watch.

Veteran former agents say misconduct at any level can become an issue of national security. “They are successfully making the process the issue to avoid troubling questions about the violations of the code of conduct,” said Michael Endicott, who served for 20 years and is now retired. “Homeland Security and the Secret Service would both have problems dealing with the issue of security being compromised.”