The U.S. State Department is investigating new allegations
POSTED: Friday, April 27, 2012 - 11:15am
UPDATED: Friday, April 27, 2012 - 1:16pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — The U.S. State Department is looking into new allegations that the sex scandal involving Military and Secret Service agents in Colombia has happened before.
There's a report this morning of similar behavior last year, during a presidential trip to El Salvador.
A Seattle television station reports that while protecting President Obama in El Salvador last year, agents spent three nights at strip club there, paid for VIP access to prostitutes there, and bragged they did this "all the time." "There's no trace at all, no indication that anything occurred on that trip based on the official records," said Chairman, Homeland Security Committee Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
The State Department says it's reviewing to see if any of their employees were involved, but was vague on whether just visting the club violates its rules. "There's a difference between going to a club and engaging in disgraceful behavior, and we expect our employees to exercise good judgment," said State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano - who oversees the secret service - told lawmakers that hiring prostitutes in Colombia was an isolated incident. "There was nothing in record to suggest that this behavior would happen," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
The new allegations from El Salvador named other agencies, including the drug enforcement administration. The DEA said they'll follow up if the information seems credible.
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers have a different solution. "Hire more females," said the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid.
"What happened in Cartagena was disgusting and I think that the Secret Service has a responsibility to investigate what happened there," said the House Minority Leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
That investigation is still underway.
Plus, the State Department is looking into an embassy employee injured while apparently chasing a car with Marines outside a night club in Brazil. Those Marines have been brought home pending an investigation.