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Tag Archives: Secret Service prostitution scandal

Prostitute Scandal: Dems Returned $20K Check to WH Aide’s Dad

Hmm. Follow the money.

In case you need to get up to speed: New indications have emerged that the White House may have tried, as the 2012 campaign season progressed, to cover up the possible involvement of White House advance team member Jonathan Dach in the Colombia prostitution scandal involving the Secret Service.

Here’s the latest. According to Fox News:

The father of a White House advance team member connected to the Secret Service prostitution scandal was refunded a hefty Obama campaign donation, records show, around the same time additional details about that possible link were made public.

The $20,000 donation was made by Leslie Dach — whose son Jonathan has been linked to the scandal — on Sept. 19, 2012, to the Obama Victory Fund.

One day later, Leslie Dach had a meeting at the White House with a top presidential economic adviser, according to White House visitor logs. One day after that, the lead federal investigator into the Colombia prostitution scandal said for the first time that White House personnel may have been involved in the incident.

On Sept. 24, 2012, campaign finance records show, the Obama Victory Fund returned the $20,000 donation to Leslie Dach . . .

(Dach’s) attorney Richard Sauber told in an email that the money was returned because Dach did not attend a fundraising event as planned — and “so the check (he thought) was either returned or not cashed.”

I don’t know. Why would Sauber have to attend an event to make a donation? Seems like the bar would be pretty high for returning a $20,000 check six weeks before Election Day at a time when the Obama campaign was hitting people up for $3 donations.

Another possible piece of evidence in this burgeoning scandal, the latest to rock the Obama administration. And as far as I can remember, it’s the Obama White House’s first sex scandal!

Here’s one of the ladies behind all the trouble:

Colombia prostitute

Of course, of course, there’s no excuse for any of this. But you can see how such a person could cause problems.

In the video below, Washington Post investigative reporter Carol Leonnig, who broke the news that the White House was aware in 2012 Dach may have been involved, explains why this scandal could be a big problem for the White House: It’s possible the coverup, which could include the return of funds to Dach’s daddy.

Leonnig calls “demonstrably false” the White House’s dismissive response to the evidence that Jonathan Dach returned to his hotel room in Colombia with a prostitute. And she suggests that the inspector general who led the probe of the scandal on behalf of the Homeland Security Department may have attempted in various ways to cover up findings that could have implicated a White House aide.

Report Indicates White House Misled Press on Prostitution Scandal

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney misled reporters in 2012 when he told them there were no specific allegations of wrongdoing against any White House staffer in the April 2012 Colombia prostitution scandal, a new report in the Washington Post suggests.

Carney East Room 3The growing recognition that the American public is routinely exposed to false and misleading statements from the White House, whether by the president or his aides, has recently prompted even mainstream journalists, among others, to question White House credibility.

According to the Post, the Secret Service told the White House specifically on Friday, April 20 that one of its staffers, a volunteer named Jonathan Dach, may have escorted a prostitute back to his hotel room in Colombia. Dach, whose father is a prominent Democratic donor, to this day denies the charge.

But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney falsely told reporters April 23, three days later, that there had not been any “specific allegations” against White House staffers:

There are no, to my knowledge, and have been no credible or specific allegations of misconduct by any member of the White House advance team or White House staff.

Carney repeatedly told reporters April 23 that an internal White House investigation of its staffers’ behavior in Colombia was not conducted in response to any allegation. That assertion also appears to be false, since the internal investigation was conducted the weekend of April 21-22, according to the Post, immediately after the Secret Service informed the White House of the allegations against Dach.

But Carney said on April 23:

The decision to conduct a review here, internally, was simply done out of due diligence. There are no, to my knowledge, and have been no credible or specific allegations of misconduct by any member of the White House advance team or White House staff.  But out of due diligence this review was conducted, and there is no indication of any misconduct by members of the White House advance team or staff.

Carney at another point in the April 23 briefing used more careful phrasing to describe potential allegations of inappropriate behavior by White House staff, saying there had been “no specific, credible allegations of misconduct.” This would be misleading but technically correct, since White House attorneys had supposedly come to the conclusion over the weekend that the charge against Dach was not “credible.”

But Carney later used the term quoted above, denying a “specific OR credible” charge. But the allegation was certainly specific, according to the Post:

The Secret Service first provided evidence pointing to Dach’s potential involvement in the scandal . . .  on April 20.

The information, which then-Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan gave to Ruemmler, was not detailed. It said Secret Service investigators had evidence indicating Dach registered a prostitute into his room at the Hilton Cartagena Hotel shortly after midnight on April 4. He also conveyed that Secret Service agents on the ground had information suggesting the same.

I guess it all depends on what the meaning of “or” is.

Carney’s statements may have been part of a White House attempt to cover up the possible involvement of a White House staffer in order to avoid any taint for the president during a reelection year.

The lead investigator on a separate Department of Homeland Security inspector general probe into the matter said superiors urged him to alter and delay the report because of political considerations, according to the Post:

The lead investigator later told Senate staffers that he felt pressure from his superiors in the office of Charles K. Edwards, who was then the acting inspector general, to withhold evidence — and that, in the heat of an election year, decisions were being made with political considerations in mind.

“We were directed at the time . . . to delay the report of the investigation until after the 2012 election,” David Nieland, the lead investigator on the Colombia case for the DHS inspector general’s office, told Senate staffers, according to three people with knowledge of his statement.

Nieland later told Senate staffers that his superiors demanded that he remove from an official report references to the evidence pointing to the White House team member.

Nieland added that his superiors told him “to withhold and alter certain information in the report of investigation because it was potentially embarrassing to the administration.”

The White House denies it attempted to influence the investigation.

House Oversight Committee member Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has requested documents from the White House to determine how it reached its conclusion that the charges against Dach were not credible.

Grassley Wants More on WH Self-Investigation

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) thinks maybe the White House’s weekend investigation of its staffers’ activities in sunny Cartegena doesn’t quite cover it. At least, he wants some details on the inquiry, something the openness administration is unwilling so far to provide.

In a letter Monday to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, Grassley asked not only about how the White House conducted its investigation, but appeared to be conducting his own investigation, demanding to know things like, “How many of the White House staff had overnight guests.”

And he deadpanned: “I would appreciate your response by April 26, 2012, as it only took a weekend to conduct this review, it should not take long to respond to these questions.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said he had not seen the letter and offered no response.

Cartegena, you’ll remember, is the city where a group of Secret Service agents found out recently that prostitution is legal in Colombia but still frowned upon in much of the United States.

Carney: No Indication of WH Misconduct in Cartegena

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today said the White House Counsel’s office had conducted a review of White House advance officials’ actions on the ground in Cartegena and found no suggestion any had engaged in inappropriate activities.

“There is no indication of any misconduct,” Carney said.

But the review may be of limited value. Carney refused to release details of the investigation or say how thorough it was or even how it was conducted – including whether those who were in Cartegena were interviewed. Carney indicated the review lasted no more than three days, saying it had begun Friday.

Carney also used a relatively weak formulation in exonerating White House staff, saying there is “no indication” of misconduct.

Carney explained the lack of further detail by saying there had not been any specific allegations lodged against White House officials. Specific charges have been made that Secret Service and military service members brought prostitutes back to their rooms, and several Secret Service members have lost their jobs.

“If someone comes to us with some credible allegations that anyone at the White House was involved in any inappropriate conduct,” the White House would consider them, he said.

Indeed, there does not appear to be any credible evidence produced in the public arena that White House officials engaged in misconduct. But the potential jeopardy to national security if they did is so grave that some, including Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) have called for investigations.

Grassley, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter Friday suggesting he wants the Secret Service or the Department of Homeland Security to look into the activities in Cartegena of White House staffers.

Carney lashed out at what he said were “rumors” about White House misconduct published on the Web.

“There have been rumors published on the Internet by people with no editors and no conscience,” Carney said.

WH Tries To Squelch Prostitution Scandal Probe Talk

The White House is seeking to belittle suggestions that White House officials should be probed to discover whether they brought prostitutes to their rooms or participated in any way in the prostitution scandal enveloping Secret Service agents and military service members who did advance work for President Obama’s trip to Cartegena, Colombia.

White House officials were part of the advance team that scouted out Obama’s travel to the Colombian city.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Friday pushed back hard against the idea of an internal investigation, saying he had “no reason to believe” White House aides did anything wrong. Asked if there was any double-checking to make sure, Carney bristled at what he repeatedly called “rumors,” saying:

What I’m not going to do, as I said yesterday, is give a play-by-play or speculate about every rumor that you may have heard from either anonymous sources or just the Internet.

Carney did not rule out, though, that there had been “discussion” between the White House and the Secret Service about White House officials, saying, “I’m sure the discussion and the briefing covers a variety of subjects, a variety of both facts and rumors.”

But two senior senators have now called for an investigation into whether White House officials were involved.

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) Friday sent a letter to Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan and Homeland Security Department Inspector General Charles Edwards demanding to know if the hotel records of White House employees who were on the ground in Cartegena are being reviewed.

And Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) Sunday called on the White House to conduct its own “review of all White House personnel, advance teams and the rest” who were in Cartegena.

Growing calls for an investigation of whether White House personnel were involved could put the spotlight on one of President Obama’s closest aides, White House Trip Director Marvin Nicholson.

There is no public evidence Nicholson or any White House aides did anything wrong or made any mistakes.

But it is unclear why the White House would not take an intense interest in whether White House officials either participated in the illicit activity or whether they knew that Secret Service members were misbehaving but failed to report it to their White House superiors. The possibility that a White House employee or information they possess could be compromised by a prostitute or a foreign agent posing as a prostitute would be a grave matter.

Nicholson is personally close to the president, regularly playing golf with him – most recently on Saturday as part of a group that included Vice President Biden and another White House staffer. Obama likes Nicholson so much he has even invited his brother Walter along to play on several occasions.