Last Thursday, I posted an article about a Washington Post report that two secret service agents had crashed into a White House barricade and disrupted a bomb investigation. Today, Michael Calderone (Huffington Post) said that an unnamed source who had seen the surveillance video of the two agents suggested that “the agents’ actions that night weren’t nearly as erratic as originally described in news reports…”
Calderone said that the source, “who was not authorized to speak publicly about the video, told The Huffington Post that the footage shows two senior agents driving very slowly after arriving at the scene, perhaps just 1 to 2 mph.” The source reportedly said that “the agents’ car nudged a traffic barrel and that the action appeared to be intentional rather than reckless — in an effort to move the object out of the way.”
(I have to wonder why a secret service agent would intentionally nudge a traffic barrel at the White House with an automobile in order to move it out of the way.)
Questions remain as to why the senior agents, Mark Connolly and George Ogilvie, appeared to have taken a government car to a colleague’s going-away party earlier in the evening, and why Director Joseph Clancy, appointed last month to lead the embattled agency, wasn’t notified of the White House incident until five days after it occurred.
Clancy told members of Congress Tuesday that the footage showed the two agents nudging an orange construction barrel in order to pass, noting that the barrel in question didn’t even fall over. He said the car proceeded to a checkpoint, and the agents appeared to show their badges in order to pass. Clancy also said that the agents’ car was traveling at “a very slow rate of speed” into the White House complex. He added that the agents had returned to the White House at the time because one of them had left his car at the complex before attending the going-away party.
Carol D. Leonnig was The Washington Post reporter who broke the story about the secret service agents. Calderone noted that Leonnig “has won wide praise for a series of scoops on Secret Service misconduct that led to the resignation of the agency’s previous director, Julia Pierson.” He added that three other stories that Leonnig had written about the Secret Service had “also come under scrutiny in the past year, including erroneously reporting that a contractor riding in an elevator with the president was a convicted felon; relying on a questionable source for allegations of soliciting prostitution; and reporting that a Secret Service operation lasted months when in fact it lasted only days.”
The Washington Post’s national editor Cameron Barr is reportedly standing by Leonnig. When he was asked about the evolving details of the latest Secret Service story, Barr said, “[S]he has and continues to be the authority on this story. We’re very proud of her work.”
Surveillance Video May Poke Holes In Secret Service Drunk Driving Story (Huffington Post)