WASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security Department’s internal watchdog is reopening the investigation into efforts by the Secret Service to discredit a congressman who was investigating the agency.
Inspector General John Roth said Monday that his office was renewing the investigation after Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy changed his story about when he first learned that agents were looking into the background of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
An agent in Washington first looked up Chaffetz’s 2003 failed job application 18 minutes after the Utah Republican convened a hearing in March about an allegation of a drunken incident near the White House involving two senior agents. Forty agents, including multiple supervisors, looked at the application within a week and details about it were leaked to the media.
Clancy told Roth’s investigators he did not know what was going on until April 1, shortly before the existence of Chaffetz’s application became publicly known.
Late last week, after Roth’s report on the incident was released, Clancy changed his recollection and said he first heard unsubstantiated rumors about Chaffetz as early as March 25. Clancy said he did not know that agents had accessed Chaffetz’s file until April 1.
Roth said his investigators will now conducted additional interviews and “take other investigative steps” before issuing an addendum to the report.
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