September 29, 2015

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Secret Service officials allowed to participate in probe of leak by agency. “Legal experts and former government investigators said the approach threatens the integrity of the investigation of who at the Secret Service uncovered and leaked material showing that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) — chairman of a House committee overseeing the agency — had once been rejected for a job as an agent. Chaffetz has been an outspoken critic of the Secret Service, which has been rocked recently by high-profile security breaches. Secret Service staff members — inspectors from the agency’s internal affairs office who examine possible misconduct among employees — sat in on interviews with some of the more than 40 agents and officers questioned about the unauthorized disclosures, the people said. In some cases, the Secret Service inspectors contacted witnesses directly and questioned them along with investigators from the DHS Inspector General’s Office headed by Roth, who is responsible for examining alleged wrongdoing across the breadth of Homeland Security. . . . The service’s involvement in investigating itself is problematic, experts say, because top officials at the agency had an incentive to embarrass Chaffetz. The participation of the service’s inspectors also could deter internal whistleblowers from coming forward with additional allegations of misconduct for fear of retribution by their bosses, the experts said.”

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