WASHINGTON — The Secret Service said late Thursday it is investigating explosive new allegations of misconduct in El Salvador, broadening a sex scandal that a US lawmaker said may lead to changes in how agents do their work abroad.
A CBS broadcast affiliate in Seattle aired new accusations emerging from the Central American nation, where members of a presidential advance team one year ago reportedly were seen by a government subcontractor paying for sex at a strip club and taking escorts back to their hotel rooms.
They are the latest claims to hit the presidential protection force still reeling from a Colombia sex scandal that saw eight agents dismissed, and follow revelations that three US Marines and a State Department employee were punished for involvement with a prostitute in Brazil.
“Right now they have begun to question supervisors that were on the ground, personnel attached to the embassy,” Representative Sheila Jackson Lee said. “They have not completed an investigation, but they really need more facts and they really are seeking for anyone who would come forward.”
The Secret Service sent a memo to members of Congress Thursday saying it was looking into the allegations, and any credible information “will be followed up on in an appropriate manner,” a congressional source told AFP.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News quoted a subcontractor who worked “extensively” with the Secret Service advance team and some military specialists, and spent time with them at a popular San Salvador club days before President Barack Obama’s trip to the country in March 2011. — AFP