King won't talk with Colombian prostitute

May 13, 2012

Newsday

Rep. Peter King is not interested in meeting the Colombian prostitute who helped unveil the recent Secret Service scandal -- at least for now.

King, who leads the House Homeland Security Committee, which is investigating the episode in Cartagena, said in a statement Sunday that an attorney for Dania Londono Suarez contacted his staff Thursday and asked to meet with his client in King's office.

"While such a meeting -- and the inevitable circus atmosphere surrounding it -- would no doubt be of great interest to the media covering this story, a meeting with her is simply not necessary at this time for the committee to conduct a serious and thorough investigation," said King (R-Seaford).

Suarez reportedly went to Cartagena police last month after a Secret Service agent offered her about $30 for taxi fare in the morning instead of the $800 he had agreed to pay the night before. It was soon learned that other agents, there to prepare for a presidential visit, had also consorted with prostitutes.

Prostitution is legal in Colombia.

Suarez has told her story to media outlets from several countries and has said that the Secret Service agent, Arthur Huntington, passed out and left secret documents in the open.

King said Secret Service investigators interviewed Suarez last week at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid and she reversed herself, acknowledging that "at no time did she have access to any sensitive information whatsoever and had no idea that she had been involved with a Secret Service agent."

King said he's confident that the service is "carrying out a real investigation" and cooperating fully with his committee. If there is a need to meet with Suarez in the future, King said he would, but at this point it seemed too much of a "stunt."

He said he was making the interview request and his response public because he does not want Suarez or her lawyer to later claim that she offered assistance but was ignored.

With AP