Public hearing scheduled on Secret Service prostitution scandal

Public hearing scheduled on Secret Service prostitution scandal
Emily Schultze/CNN

POSTED: Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 4:00pm

UPDATED: Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 4:04pm

The Senate Homeland Security Committee has scheduled a public hearing on the prostitution scandal involving U.S. military and Secret Service agents in Colombia.

The hearing will take place May 23, Sen. Joe Lieberman, the committee chairman, told CNN's "State of the Union."

Lieberman's is one of four congressional committees looking into the incident.

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan and Acting Inspector General Charles Edwards will testify, Lieberman said.

The committee will ask whether Sullivan is satisfied with the investigation into what occurred in Cartagena, Colombia, Lieberman said.

Secondly, Lieberman said, the committee will ask, "Were there indications before the Colombian scandal of behavior by Secret Service agents off duty on assignment that should have been a warning that this was coming?"

"And third, what are you going to do, Director Sullivan, to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again."

Two weeks ago, the committee sent Sullivan a list of questions to answer by Monday.

The incident, which transpired a month ago in advance of President Obama's trip to the Summit of the Americas, was "heartbreaking" and "dangerous," said Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut.

It involved roughly 20 alleged prostitutes, and has so far resulted in the dismissal of nine Secret Service members.

Three other Secret Service agents were cleared of serious misconduct.

The military is investigating the alleged involvement of 12 service members.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has said there is no evidence the president's security was put at risk due to the incident. He noted that the president's schedule was not kept in the hotel rooms of any service members believed to be involved in the scandal.

Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said no classified information or weapons were present at the Hotel Caribe, where the alleged incident occurred.

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