King writes to Secret Service

Apr 22, 2012

Newsday - by EMILY NGO

Congressman Peter King has written to the U.S. Secret Service, asking whether classified information or federal property were compromised during the alleged misconduct of agency staff earlier this month in Colombia.

"Please provide a comprehensive, minute-by-minute timeline of all known actions, locations, and possible violations of U.S. or Colombian law," King (R-Seaford) says in a letter with 50 questions sent Friday to Mark Sullivan, the director of the Secret Service.

"The intention is to get as full a picture as possible and not just for the sake of knowing what the story was -- because the story is bad enough itself -- but . . . to minimize the chances of that happening again," King, chairman of the House Homeland and Security Committee, said in a phone interview Sunday.

King said he has launched a probe into the incident and intends to compare his findings to those of an ongoing Secret Service investigation.

The letter, which requests compliance by Friday, asks if employees implicated in the scandal had government-issued credentials, encryption devices or laptops in the Colombia hotel rooms where they are accused of patronizing prostitutes in advance of President Barack Obama's visit.

It asks also if the women allegedly involved were left alone in the hotel rooms and if they had been compensated "with the per diem provided by the U.S. government."

A Secret Service official said Sunday, "We'll certainly comply with any requests for information from Congress."

King said there is no immediate evidence that state secrets were compromised by the scandal, which has snared at least 12 Secret Service employees and 11 military members.Six of those have resigned or been fired.

King said he expects more ousters soon.

"I don't have an exact timeline, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's the next day or so," he said yesterday.

The congressman expressed continued confidence in Sullivan, saying Sullivan had reacted quickly and professionally when reports of misconduct broke about 10 days ago.

King's letter asks for, among other things, ages of the alleged prostitutes and whether Secret Service members continued to be in contact with the women after the scandal broke.