Talk about interagency cooperation: Two officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration arranged for a Secret Service agent to solicit a Colombian prostitute — and tried to destroy evidence of them doing so — according to a letter delivered by the Justice Department to several Senators. NBC News obtained the letter, which details the findings of a federal investigation into Secret Service agents hiring prostitutes ahead of Obama's arrival in Colombia (where, it should be noted, prostitution is legal).
The letter confirms rumors that DEA agents were involved in the original Secret Service scandal — during which (according to the Justice Department letter) the agents used their government-issued phones to arrange for "sexual services" between Secret Service suits and Colombian prostitutes. While the DEA agents admitted to soliciting prostitutes themselves (again, legally), the much, much bigger deal is that the letter suggested they tried to cover their digital tracks and even misled investigators:
All three DEA special agents admitted that they had paid for sexual services of a prostitute, the investigation also found, and “used their DEA Blackberry devices to arrange such activities.” In addition, the report says the agents tried to destroy incriminating information or initially lied to investigators about the incidents.
The reason? NBC notes that the agents in question possess "high-security clearances" — which are only given to individuals who have a low chance of being blackmailed. (Hence the elaborate, time-consuming background checks which accompany security clearances.) It's possible, then, that this is only the beginning of what investigators might find.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.