Author Topic: Secret Service agents pulled to guard director’s aide (over dispute w/neighbor): report  (Read 361 times)

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Secret Service agents pulled to guard director’s aide: report
By Associated Press/NY Post
May 11, 2014 | 6:43am

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WASHINGTON — Members of a Secret Service special unit responsible for patrolling near the White House were pulled off that assignment over at least two months in 2011 to protect the assistant of the agency’s director while she was engaged in a dispute with a neighbor, according to a report in The Washington Post.

Agents were told that the Secret Service director at the time, Mark Sullivan, was concerned that his assistant was being harassed by her neighbor, the Post reported in a story posted Saturday night on its website. The newspaper cited three people familiar with the operation but did not provide their names.

The agents were pulled from a surveillance team that patrols the outskirts of the White House compound and monitors the southern side of the executive mansion whenever crowds gather to watch the president and first family travel via motorcade or helicopter, the Post reported.

Agents inside the Washington field office were concerned that the diversion of agents increased security risks to the compound and the president, two people familiar with the discussion told the newspaper. A spokesman for the agency told the Post that the agents involved were not part of the president’s protective detail and therefore the operation had no impact on it.

Sullivan left the Secret Service in 2013 nearly a year after a scandal involving members of the presidential protection team hiring prostitutes ahead of a trip by President Barack Obama to Colombia in 2012. In a statement to the Post, Sullivan said a supervisor in his office authorized the visits to the assistant’s home without his knowledge, that they lasted only a few days and that they were appropriate given the report of threats to an employee.

Called “Operation Moonlight” within the agency, the assignment that summer of 2011 called for two agents twice a day, in the morning and at night, to monitor the home of his assistant, the Post reported. The residence was in rural area outside the southern Maryland town of La Plata, nearly an hour’s drive from Washington.

Two agents put on Operation Moonlight thought the reassignment was a potentially illegal use of government resources and were concerned enough about their own liability that they kept records of their involvement and their superiors’ instructions, the Post reported. Some informed the inspector general for the Homeland Security Department about the operation, the newspaper said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the White House was not aware of the allegations involving the president’s protection and referred questions to the Secret Service, according to the Post.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed that agents were pulled off their White House duty to check on the safety of the director’s assistant. However, he disputed accounts that Operation Moonlight lasted for months, saying agency records indicated that the assignment took place for only a few days over the Fourth of July weekend.

Donovan said the operation was part of the agency’s standard response to potential threats to an employee.
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http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/05/11/secret-service-agents-were-reportedly-ordered-to-protect-home-former-agency/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fpolitics+%28Internal+-+Politics+-+Text%29

Secret Service agents were reportedly ordered to protect home of former director's assistant
Published May 11, 2014
FoxNews.com

Members of a top Secret Service unit responsible for patrolling the perimeter of the White House were reportedly pulled off their posts for several weeks in the summer of 2011 and ordered to protect the home of the assistant to the agency's then-director.

The Washington Post, citing three people familiar with the operation, reported late Saturday that the agents were sent to a rural area outside La Plata, Md. in what was known as Operation Moonlight. The paper said that agents were told that they were there because then-Secret Service director Mark Sullivan was concerned that his assistant, Lisa Chopey, was being harassed by her neighbor after an altercation.

Operation Moonlight consisted of sending two agents from the so-called Prowler surveillance team to monitor Chopey's home in the morning and evening. The paper reported that the trips began on June 30 of that year and continued through July before slowly tapering off in August.

In addition to their work patrolling the mansion, members of the Prowler team also monitor the southern side of the executive mansion whenever crowds gather to watch the president and first family travel via motorcade or helicopter.

Agents inside the Washington field office were concerned that the diversion of agents increased security risks to the compound and the president, two people familiar with the discussion told the newspaper. A spokesman for the agency told the Post that the agents involved were not part of the president's protective detail and therefore the operation had no impact on it.

Sullivan left the Secret Service in 2013 nearly a year after a scandal involving members of the presidential protection team hiring prostitutes ahead of a trip by President Barack Obama to Colombia in 2012. In a statement to the Post, Sullivan said a supervisor in his office authorized the visits to the assistant's home without his knowledge, that they lasted only a few days and that they were appropriate given the report of threats to an employee.

Two agents put on Operation Moonlight thought the reassignment was a potentially illegal use of government resources and were concerned enough about their own liability that they kept records of their involvement and their superiors' instructions, the Post reported. Some informed the inspector general for the Homeland Security Department about the operation, the newspaper said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the White House was not aware of the allegations involving the president's protection and referred questions to the Secret Service, according to the Post.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed to the paper that agents were pulled off their White House duty to check on the safety of the director's assistant. However, he disputed accounts that Operation Moonlight lasted for months, saying agency records indicated that the assignment took place for only a few days over the Fourth of July weekend.

Donovan said the operation was part of the agency's standard response to potential threats to an employee.

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Donovan said the operation was part of the agency's standard response to potential threats to an employee.

Correct. SOP for any perceived threat to high echelon staff or the families of any agent currently on overseas or high risk duty. This is not a story.
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Correct. SOP for any perceived threat to high echelon staff or the families of any agent currently on overseas or high risk duty. This is not a story.

This is indeed a story.  Since when does the security of the family of a staff member assume more importance to the Secret Service than the security of the President of the United States?? 

Exactly what do you think Job #1 is or should be down at Secret Service??

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This is indeed a story.  Since when does the security of the family of a staff member assume more importance to the Secret Service than the security of the President of the United States?? 

Exactly what do you think Job #1 is or should be down at Secret Service??

Their job is the safety of the President, of course. However, no where in the story do I see that they were pulled off fence duty to go there. If they were, that would be different. Until I know that, it's a none story.

And the security of staff members families is rather important in the scheme of things. Do you really want someone close to the President who's family are being held? Or an Operations Director who has been compromised?
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Their job is the safety of the President, of course. However, no where in the story do I see that they were pulled off fence duty to go there. If they were, that would be different. Until I know that, it's a none story.

And the security of staff members families is rather important in the scheme of things. Do you really want someone close to the President who's family are being held? Or an Operations Director who has been compromised?

IMO, they could/should have had the U.S. Park Police conduct the 'protection'.

Using Secret Service White House details to protect Administration 'assistants'....over a freaking disagreement with a neighbor is the height of arrogance.

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Offline AbaraXas

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Correct. SOP for any perceived threat to high echelon staff or the families of any agent currently on overseas or high risk duty. This is not a story.

It is in one sense (looks like Chief posted the same thing) which is the WH Secret Service duty was moved to this person's protection. Yes, staff like this do get protection, but in this case, it would not be WH duty staff, they have inter-departmental agents for this. This also may fall under the provenience of the FBI or Capitol Police (probably not the latter depending on if the only protection was at the assistant's home outside DC). It is an interesting story as to why this particular group were chosen. Maybe there is more to the story, such as someone trying to use the director's assistant to do a greater harm than just a harassing neighbor?
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Offline Chieftain

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Their job is the safety of the President, of course. However, no where in the story do I see that they were pulled off fence duty to go there. If they were, that would be different. Until I know that, it's a none story.

And the security of staff members families is rather important in the scheme of things. Do you really want someone close to the President who's family are being held? Or an Operations Director who has been compromised?

Quote
Agents inside the Washington field office were concerned that the diversion of agents increased security risks to the compound and the president, two people familiar with the discussion told the newspaper. A spokesman for the agency told the Post that the agents involved were not part of the president's protective detail and therefore the operation had no impact on it.

Sounds like a dispute to me.  I don't trust anything this Administration says, and with the proven track record of embarrassing gaffes in the Obama era Secret Service I don't put anything past them.


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Give me the authority to make the call and I would tell the Presidential Detail to Stand Down.
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Sounds like a dispute to me.  I don't trust anything this Administration says, and with the proven track record of embarrassing gaffes in the Obama era Secret Service I don't put anything past them.

I'm about as likely to trust any administration as to jump over the Atlantic.  :whistle:

There is a tendency to keep things "in house" though, and the Secret Service and the FBI are not exactly renowned for getting on. Of course, they both detest the CIA.
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