The inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security on Friday said for the first time that two individuals “affiliated” with the White House may have been involved in the Colombian prostitution scandal that occurred ahead of President Barack Obama’s trip to Colombia in April.
The inspector general’s comments raise more doubts about the White House’s credibility on the matter. On April 23, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the White House had conducted an internal investigation and discovered that White House personnel had not been involved in the scandal.
FoxNews.com obtained a letter from Charles Edwards, the lead investigator in the case, to Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in which he wrote a Department of Defense employee “affiliated” with the White House and another who “may have been affiliated” with the White House advance operation were possibly involved in the scandal. Edwards said a hotel registry suggested two individuals not in the Secret Service may have been involved in the scandal.
“Although allegations related to the non-USSS personnel were outside the scope of the investigation, one of these employees is a Department of Defense employee affiliated with the White House Communication Agency and the other, whose employment status was not verified, may have been affiliated with the White House advance operation,” Edwards wrote.
Edwards said his office did not investigate these two individuals further because they were not associated with the Department of Homeland Security.
Collins, in a statement, said this “investigation raises concerns about the credibility of the White House investigation.”
Collins said the White House on April 23 “explicitly denied any involvement after its own investigation” and that these new revelations were “troubling.”
According to FoxNews, a “senior administration official” said the member of the advance team in question was a “volunteer” and may have been wrongly implicated based on inaccurate hotel records. White House spokesman Eric Schultz continued to deny any White House involvement.
“As we’ve said for months, the White House review concluded that no members of the White House advance team, either staff or volunteers, engaged in inappropriate conduct during the President’s trip to Colombia,” he said.
On Wednesday, a “high-ranking Secret Service official” admitted two White House staffers had brought prostitutes to their hotel, and Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan “publicly skewered agency employees who were involved” to cover up the involvement of White House aides in the scandal.
Senators and Secret Service officials had expressed concerns that the Inspector General’s report was being altered to protect the White House and to cover up the roles of the White House staff who may have been involved the scandal.