WASHINGTON (NewsCore) — Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has asked the Secret Service whether members of the White House advance team were connected to the Colombian prostitution scandal, considering their “close working relationship” with federal agents.
Grassley sent the letter Friday to agency director Mark Sullivan and acting inspector general Charles Edwards. He also asked in the letter if the Secret Service was looking at whether the White House communications office also could be involved.
The scandal involving at least one Secret Service agent allegedly bringing a prostitute to his hotel room in Cartagena, Columbia, was made public April 13 before the Summit of the Americas began.
Grassley is concerned about whether White House officials were in the same hotel and if the prostitutes could have had access to their rooms. The agents were there in advance of President Barack Obama participating in the summit.
Twelve Secret Service agents and 11 military members have been implicated in the incident.
News of the incident, which involves as many as 20 Colombian women, broke after a fight over payment between a prostitute and a Secret Service agent spilled into the hotel hallway.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday the administration has no reason to think staffers were involved and implied he would not be looking into the matter.
“From the moment that this was made public and an investigation was launched, we have been in regular touch with the Secret Service and obviously with the Pentagon about this incident,” he said. “I’m sure the discussion and the briefing covers a variety of subjects, a variety of both facts and rumors. What I’m not going to do … is give a play-by-play or speculate about every rumor that you may have heard.”
Carney also said he had “no reason to believe” an internal White House investigation would be needed.
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