April 19th, 2012
01:50 PM ET
3 years ago

Senior Democrat expects more resignations, worries about Obama's future safety

Washington (CNN) - Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan is telling lawmakers he expects more resignations in the wake of the alleged prostitution scandal, with one congressional source saying additional agents will likely go by the end of the week, and a top Democrat is expressing concern that the Colombia incident could compromise the president's safety in the future.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Government and Oversight Committee, told CNN Thursday Sullivan told him he has "no doubt" all Secret Service agents involved in the prostitution scandal will resign, if the investigation makes clear their wrongdoing.

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"I said is it possible that these men would resign," Cummings told CNN, recounting his conversation with Sullivan. "He said he had no doubt that they would, that they probably would if, you know, the facts were found to be true. Why? Because of the culture. They have this pride – they don't want any bad apples, so they probably will leave."

Wednesday night three of the 11 Secret Service members involved were forced out.

Cummings said it is still not clear if the Columbia incident posed a security threat on that particular trip, but he expressed deep concern that the publicity surrounding it could compromise security in the future.

"The Secret Service is organization I put on level of Navy Seals. The elite. The very, very best in the world, and I don't want anyone to think they can pierce the armor of the Secret Service. I dont even want them to think it, i think its our duty, all of us in the Congress to make sure that the Secret Service is an organization we believe it to be," said Cummings.

Cummings, a senior African American lawmaker, also said there was already special concern for President Barack Obama, which he even hears from his constituents.

"People actually worry about that. They worry about it, and people have said to me, look, Cummings, if they would try to kill Reagan, I know they'll try to do some harm to this president. I hear that all the time," said Cummings.

When asked if that worry is because the president is African American, Cummings simply responded "I'm just telling you, that's what they ask me."

He did not say he has any specific, official information about threats to the president.

Cummings said he has the "utmost confidence in Sullivan" and does not think he needs to go, as at least one of his colleagues has said.

Cummings also said he is comfortable with the Secret Service doing the bulk of the investigating right now, and is happy with the decision to create an external board to review the agency's standards.

"I think their investigation will be extremely thorough, and that information needs to get out to the public. I don't want anybody who's imagining– imagining bringing some type of harm to the president or vice president and others being guarded by the Secret Service. I don't want them to even imagine that they can touch them," said Cummings.

Still, he is demanding answers.

On Wednesday, he and House Government and Oversight Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa wrote a sharply worded joint letter asking for the Secret Service to respond to a series of questions about the incident in Colombia, giving the agency a May 1 deadline.

Cummings said after they receive that information the committee will determine whether public hearings are necessary.


Filed under: Congress • House • President Obama
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. demwit

    Resign!? Why?.., are these republicans too??

    April 19, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    Some things are better off kept under wraps. This being one of them.

    Obama 2012

    April 19, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. Yomi Olalere

    Everyone involved in that disgusting and scandalous action should resign without any negotiation. You can not be working for a secret service agent and have prostitutes around you. Colombia is known for its notorious act and having SSA folks indulged in such unprofessional acts is just not acceptable.

    For the sake of security of the president and the reputation of the United States, these folks should leave. Who knows if they have carelessly released classified information that can jeopardize ongoing security assignment.

    I bet this is not the first time and this group is probably not the first practising such an indecent act!

    I really do hope congress can investigate beyond just this action to the extent of information release to the Colombian prostitutes.

    Its a shame, but I emphatise with the Director of Secret service who was not physically responsible nor enjoyed the sexual act but will be held responsible for these "bad eggs."

    April 19, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. hey seniore....

    what's all the hub bub about? is this not old protocol from the kennedy and clinton days when the secret service would provide the potus with "secret service"?

    April 19, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Woman In California

    Some things are better off kept under wraps. This being one of them
    -------------------------------------------------
    I couldn't agree with you more babe.
    May God continue to protect our wonderful President especially from enemies from within our borders.

    April 19, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. Larry L

    Since nobody on the Republican side seems to mind hearing a member of the Board of Directors from the NRA threaten to kill the President of the United States we'll assume the Secret Service is especially critical in today's environment.

    April 19, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. Michael

    Why should Democrats be politically concerned about the scandalous conduct of Secret Service members, GSA administrators, and combat soldiers in Afghanistan : ALL trained during Republican Administration and those career standards ?

    April 19, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Michael - Why should Democrats be politically concerned about the scandalous conduct of Secret Service members, GSA administrators, and combat soldiers in Afghanistan : ALL trained during Republican Administration and those career standards ?
    ==============================================================================================
    You DO realize Obama, A DEMOCRAT, has been in office nearly FOUR YEARS right??? Typical left wing looney tune...

    April 19, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    The Secret Service has nothing to do with politics. I'm not even sure why this news story is on The Ticker. I guess it involves the POTUS and Republicans want to score political points on it.

    April 19, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. Joi Gibson

    I don't trust Darell Issa. His goal is to make the President look bad. Jeff Sessions has already said this and the GSA is all President Obama's fault and falls squarely on his shoulders. I guess Congress has nothing to do with our government. It is only the President. Am I missing something?

    OBAMA/BIDEN/FIRST LADY MICHELLE 2012

    April 19, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    I think some of those secret service people have been there for many many years. Don't tell me that Bush didn't know what they were doing either. And the GSA? I'm sure a lot of republicans work for that civil service agency too. Why are you people making all this about one party?

    April 19, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |