- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A House committee investigating security lapses by the Secret Service issued subpoenas Tuesday for two agents after the panel’s chairman said Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy reneged on a promise to allow the agents to testify.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the subpoenas were necessary because the Homeland Security Department requested that information in the panel’s probe “remain secret and be kept from Congress and the American people.”

“Those restrictions are unacceptable,” Mr. Chaffetz said. “Under such restrictions, the committee cannot perform its essential duties to evaluate and propose much-needed legislative reforms for this troubled agency.”

The committee did not name the agents, but the panel is looking into an episode on March 4 when two agents thought to be intoxicated drove into the midst of an active crime scene near the White House, where officers were investigating a bomb threat. Mr. Chaffetz said the committee requested interviews with agents “who can shed light not only on the March 4 incident,” but also have information “on why the Secret Service appears to be systemically broken and in desperate need of both leadership and reform.”

During a hearing last week, Mr. Clancy promised the committee that he would make certain agents will be available to testify in a closed session. 



“The committee understands the sensitive nature of the Secret Service’s work and has made every attempt to perform its oversight duties in light of those concerns,” Mr. Chaffetz said. “It is disappointing the department has declined to cooperate. We therefore must take the regrettable step of compelling the agents for interviews before the committee.”

 

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