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Senator seeks more info on Secret Service investigation

The ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee wants to know if the Secret Service’s investigation of the Colombian prostitution scandal is exploring the possible involvement of staff from two White House entities.

[Editor's note: This story has been changed to add a comment from the White House press secretary.]

The ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee wants to know if the Secret Service’s investigation of the Colombian prostitution scandal is exploring the possible involvement of staff from the White House Communications Agency and the White House Office of Advance.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) included the questions in a letter to Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan and Acting Inspector General Charles Edwards following a Senate Judiciary Committee staff briefing provided by the Secret Service last week.

While Grassley said he appreciated both the briefing and “the quick action taken by the Secret Service to immediately address these serious allegations,” he also noted that “more work remains to investigate and uncover what occurred …”

Grassley noted in the letter that a Secret Service advance team “also works closely with the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), which is made up of military and civilians. Further, it is also my understanding that the Secret Service advance teams work closely with the White House Office of Advance and that sometimes the Secret Service may help reserve rooms for representatives from these offices.”

Grassley inquired whether, if the Secret Service had made those reservations at the site of the scandal — the Hotel Caribe —or at other hotels in Cartagena, hotel records had been obtained for those employees’ rooms as well. Grassley also inquired about records for any rooms that members of those White House agencies may have shared for operational or support matters with the Secret Service and Defense Department employees implicated in the scandal.

At an afternoon press briefing April 23, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said a White House review concluded that no members of its advance team were involved.

"There have been no specific, credible allegations of misconduct by anyone on the White House advance team or the White House staff," Carney told reporters. "Nevertheless, out of due diligence, the White House Counsel's office has conducted a review of the White House advance team, and in concluding that review, came to the conclusion that there's no indication that any member of the White House advance team engaged in any improper conduct or behavior."

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