Secret Service Director Joe Clancy dumbfounded lawmakers on Tuesday with the revelation that surveillance footage of agency misconduct had been erased – because of agency policy.
Members of the House Appropriations Committee grilled Clancy over the incident where two agents – suspected of being drunk – drove their car through an active bomb investigation scene on March 4.
Officers who were at the scene reportedly said they saw the car make contact with one of the barriers that was meant to close off the area near the White House.
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Clancy provided two questionable videos of the incident at his testimony, but lawmakers were clearly angered by the agency’s policy of erasing recordings.
“We inquired if there were additional tapes and angles and the director informed us that there may not be because it’s their policy to erase them 72 hours after they record, which is just unfathomable,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz told CNN.
“I can’t think of any good reason to do that,” he said.
“This is not your local 7- Eleven. This is the White House.”
This is a really bad-look for an agency riddled with scandal and criticized for administering inadequate disciplinary action to misbehaving personnel.
Chaffetz inquired as to why two ambiguous tapes survived while others were destroyed according to the agency’s supposed procedure.
“I don’t know if we’re getting the runaround,” he said.
“It doesn’t smell right.”
There is no way to tell from the video if the agents were intoxicated, but it was clear they were in an area where they should not have been.
“One tape clearly shows a vehicle within a couple of feet of a potential bomb,” he said.
“They almost ran over a potential bomb.”
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