Secret Service Does Secret Disservice to Rep. Jason Chaffetz

Barb Wire

Turns out, the Secret Service isn’t so secret after all. The disgraced agency, rocked by everything from prostitution charges to security lapses, is at the center of another firestorm — this time, for smearing Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). The conservative Congressman, who’s been front and center in the battle for government accountability, was apparently the target of a Secret Service vendetta, a new report found.

Tired of the corruption in Washington, Chaffetz hasn’t been shy about demanding better of most federal offices, including the President’s own security team. In a hearing back in March, the Utah leader took the Secret Service to task for botching a job involving a suspicious package on White House grounds. Upset over the confrontation, top officials at the Secret Service exacted revenge by circulating highly sensitive information about Chaffetz to its agents. During an investigation of the agency, the inspector general uncovered a plot by Assistant Director Edward Lowery to humiliate Chaffetz. “Some information that he might find embarrassing needs to get out,” Lowery emailed another director. In a stunning move, Lowery helped to leak Chaffetz’s personnel file, which included the fact that he’d applied for a job at the Secret Service in the early 2000s and was turned down.

The information wormed its way to dozens of agents, including the President’s own detail. As many as 18 supervisors and executives at the Secret Service knew this was happening and did nothing. “These agents for an agency whose motto — ‘Worthy of trust and confidence’ — is engraved in marble in the lobby of their headquarters building,” the inspector general wrote. “Few could credibly argue that the agents involved in this episode lived up to this motto.”

In trying to deflect their scandals, the Secret Service created more! Rep. Chaffetz, who was busy chairing the first House hearing with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards this week, finally responded to the breach yesterday, saying, “It was a tactic designed to intimidate and embarrass me, and frankly, it is intimidating. It’s scary to think about all the possible dangers in having your personal information exposed.”

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Is this what the Left meant by “the most transparent administration” in history? A President who exposes confidential information about conservatives while the rest of the administration operates in secrecy? From Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder to the IRS and Benghazi, “lawless” doesn’t begin to describe the corruption taking place in America’s highest offices. That’s why leaders like Jason Chaffetz are so important. They won’t bend — not even in the face of gross power abuses like this one.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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