- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 6, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A Secret Service agent working on Vice President Mike Pence’s detail was just arrested and suspended for allegedly trying to hook up with a prostitute in Maryland.

And that’s not even the worst of it. The real red-faced moment for the agency came when its official statement about the incident was this: “The Secret Service takes allegations of criminal activity very seriously.”

Really? When? ‘Cause the words Secret Service and prostitutes, all too frequently, have been uttered in the same sentence. Type in “secret service, prostitute scandal” into a Google search, and all kinds of interesting headlines pop.

There’s this, from the Washingtonian in March of 2013: “Secret Service Prostitution Scandal: One Year Later.”

And this, from The Washington Post from May 2012: “Secret Service scandal: Colombian woman describes night of carousing with agents.”

And this, from the Huffington Post — a whole section, apparently: “Secret Service Prostitution.”

Or this, a new angle from the Washington Examiner from March 2015: “DEA agents also arranged hookers for Secret Service.”

And from Fox News, in October 2014: “Investigator in Secret Service prostitution scandal resigns after being implicated in own incident.”

That’s a drop in the bucket. So with that in mind, let’s circle on back to the Secret Service’s statement, post-arrest of this week’s alleged prostitution-soliciting agent, and do a quick check: Does the Secret Service really take “allegations of criminal activity very seriously?”

Seems the agency might take incidents seriously when they have to — when caught, red-faced and red-handed. But as for any type of on-the-job training that might prevent said incidents from occurring in the first place — a course on “Do Not Solicit Prostitutes,” for example — perhaps the agency isn’t quite so serious.

Anyhow, on this latest arrest, CNN first reported the agent, who’s not been named — and why he’s not been named is a matter that needs scrutiny itself — was arrested after exiting a hotel in Maryland. The hotel manager had called police over reports of suspicious activity in one of the rooms.

The agent — and again, one has to wonder why he’s not been named, when an average Joe certainly would have been — then “self-reported” his arrest to his agency, CNN said.

The agent was off-duty at the time of arrest.

“The Secret Service takes allegations of criminal activity very seriously,” the agency’s statement read. “This matter is being investigated by our Office of Professional Responsibility to determine the facts. The employee was required to surrender their equipment and was placed on administrative leave. The employee’s security clearance and access to all Secret Service facilities has also been suspended. We are exploring the full range of disciplinary actions.”

And then there’s this, a little notation in the media reports on the arrest: The incident occurred late last week.

The fact it’s only coming to light now — only making media waves now — is a pretty sure sign of one thing: This probably isn’t the last time we’ll see a prostitution scandal at the Secret Service.

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