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Agents quizzed on White House crash

The US Homeland Security Department is investigating two senior Secret Service agents accused of crashing a car into a White House security barrier, an agency spokesman has said.

It is the latest embarrassment for the agency tasked with protecting the president.

Recently appointed director Joseph Clancy has been briefed on the March 4 incident, Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback said.

Mr Clancy has asked the Homeland Security Department's Inspector General's Office to investigate the incident.

The two agents have been reassigned to non-supervisory, non-operational jobs, the agency said.

The Washington Post reported that the agents drove a government car into a security barrier near the White House after a night of drinking.

The Post also reported that one of the agents involved is Mark Connolly, the second-in-command on President Barack Obama's security detail. The newspaper identified the other agent as George Ogilvie, a senior supervisor in the Washington field office.

In the last six months, several top agency officials, including former director Julian Pierson, have been forced out amid revelations of multiple, serious presidential security breaches.

In September, a Texas man armed with a knife was able to climb a White House fence and run deep into the executive mansion before being apprehended.

An internal investigation and an outside panel report both described serious problems within the agency.

A four-member panel of former senior government officials concluded in a report released last year that the agency was too insular and starving for leadership.

The panel recommended an agency outsider to replace Mr Pierson, but Mr Obama earlier this year tapped Mr Clancy, a retired agent who led the agency on an interim basis after Mr Pierson's ouster.


From Belfast Telegraph