As nearly two dozen Secret Service agents and members of the military were punished or fired following a 2012 prostitution scandal in Colombia, Obama administration officials repeatedly denied that anyone from the White House was involved.
But new details drawn from government documents and interviews show that senior White House aides were given information at the time suggesting that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member — yet that information was never thoroughly investigated or publicly acknowledged.
As bad as that is, it gets much worse:
“We were directed at the time . . . to delay the report of the investigation until after the 2012 election,” David Nieland, the lead investigator on the Colombia case for the DHS inspector general’s office, told Senate staffers, according to three people with knowledge of his statement.
Finally, how's this for an unreal detail? Jonathan Dach, the White House volunteer who allegedly had this liaison with the prostitute, "this year started working full time in the Obama administration on a federal contract as a policy adviser in the Office on Global Women’s Issues at the State Department." It almost goes without saying that Dach is also the son of a prominent Democratic donor and former lobbyist.
As is often the case, we'll hear a lot in the next few days about how the cover-up here is worse than the crime. Prostitution is, after all, legal in Cartagena. Still, the episode is more telling than White House would like. It speaks to this White House's extraordinary lack of professionalism and competency, and it's yet another example of how hollow and nakedly political the White House's "war on women" rhetoric really is.
But most importantly, it says a lot about what this White House is capable of. The White House is willing to hush up an investigation of a 25-year-old volunteer's dalliance with a prostitute because of concerns about electoral consequences, and yet we're supposed to believe that the White House has such integrity they wouldn't lie about, say, what happened in Benghazi, regardless of the election fallout?
Last week, while Israel, Gaza, Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria burned, and the immigration crisis intensified along the Texas-Mexico border, President Obama was hard at work for two days in Los Angeles raising funds for the Democratic party.
President Obama says he's not the one who canceled the White House tours. He made the comments in an interview with ABC News.
"[O]ne more question about the spending cuts," said the interviewer from ABC News. "You’ve been takin’ a lotta heat for this cancellation of the White House tours. They get– the Secret Service says it’s costs about $74,000 a week. Was canceling them really necessary?"
More than a dozen Twitter accounts that were used as a medium to publically threaten Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s life after the second presidential debate remain active, nearly two weeks later. This news comes after the Secret Service told this publication that it was “aware” of these very threats on Romney’s life.
Until last week, Mitt Romney had trouble getting potential voters to care so much that they would crawl over ground glass to get to the polling station and vote for him. But now, the man and moment may have come together, thanks to employees of the General Services Administration and the Secret Service.
David Axelrod, a top level campaign adviser to President Barack Obama, seemed to suggest on CNN this morning that so-called "scandals" under Obama aren't really scandals. (Particularly, the question was about the GSA and Secret Services issues.) Axelrod, a Democrat, did however suggest that if these things were happening under a Republican president, it then might be a campaign issue:
W hen I returned to Washington in 1992 after a 13-year absence, I was frequently asked what changes I observed. Of course, the obvious answer was volume: Big buildings had appeared where humble shops once stood, and automobile traffic seemed considerably more congested. Crosstown excursions that had once taken 15 minutes now seemed to require three-quarters of an hour.