Sep 212012

PF: ‘ Barney Frank may be running this one too

The lead federal investigator into the Colombia prostitution scandal said for the first time Friday that White House personnel may have been involved — despite administration claims to the contrary.

Charles Edwards, the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, wrote in a letter to Sen. Susan Collins that his office’s investigation into the April incident found “a hotel registry that suggests that two (non-Secret Service) personnel may have had contact with foreign nationals.”

The letter came two days after a FoxNews report revealed possible White House advance team involvement.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz backed up Carney in standing by the original White House review.

“As we’ve said for months, the White House review concluded that no members of the White House advance team, either staff or volunteers, engaged in inappropriate conduct during the president’s trip to Colombia,” Schultz said.

Collins said in a statement Friday she was “troubled” by the new revelations, though, citing Carney’s original claim.

“On April 23, the White House spokesman said that the White House counsel’s office had conducted its own review and concluded there had been no credible allegations of misconduct by anyone on the White House advance team or the White House staff. The White House explicitly denied any involvement after its own investigation and now the IG is questioning that account. This raises concerns about the credibility of the White House investigation,” she said.

A Secret Service source who was on the April Cartagena trip also questioned Edwards’ claim that the leads were not pursued. The source told that agents on the trip were specifically asked about White House staff, and that those leads were pursued by the DHS investigators.

“He is lying that (White House) leads weren’t pursued. I was asked by … investigators if I knew about (White House) staff with girls along with many other (Secret Service) types that were interviewed,” the source said.

On Wednesday, FoxNews reported exclusively that the probe conducted by Department of Homeland Security investigators into the Cartagena scandal turned up claims that two members of the White House team had checked in prostitutes to the Hilton hotel in Cartagena.

When Carney was asked Thursday about the forthcoming investigative report on the Colombia prostitution scandal, and the report, Carney noted that the report was not yet public and that the White House had not seen it.

“I have no comment on an IG report that nobody has seen,” he said. “We’ll await the report.”

A voicemail left for a spokesman for the DHS inspector general requesting comment on the letter was not immediately returned.


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