Even though former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney adamantly denied that anyone from the Obama administration was mired in a 2012 prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, a new report suggests exactly the opposite, going so far as to withhold information until after the presidential election.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday evening that documents and interviews reveal senior White House aides received information during the time of the scandal suggesting a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential-advance team member, though it was never publicly acknowledged. From the report:
“Whether the White House volunteer, Jonthan Dach, was involved in wrongdoing in Cartagena, Colombia, remains unclear. Dach, then a 25-year-old University law student, declined to be interviewed, but through his attorney he denied hiring a prostitute or bringing anyone to his hotel room. Dach has long made the same denials to White House officials.
“Dach this year started working full time in the Obama administration on a federal contract as a policy adviser in the Office on Global Women’s Issues at the State Department.
“Dach’s father, Leslie Dach, is a prominent Democratic donor who gave $23,900 to the party in 2008 to help elect Obama. In his previous job as a top lobbyist for Wal-Mart, he partnered with the White House on high-profile projects, including Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move!’ campaign.”
The Post also notes the lead investigator on the case in Colombia, David Nieland of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspector general’s office was told to keep “political considerations in mind.”
“We were directed at the time… to delay the report of the investigation until after the 2012 election.”
Former and current Secret Service agents alike told the outlet that they were upset of the appearance of the double standard of treatment between the dismissal of agents who acted improperly and a member of the White House’s advance team. Prostitution is legal in parts of Columbia, including Cartagena.
Initially, there was no report of any wrongdoing by Dach, as The Post reports.
Advertisement – story continues below
“The Secret Service shared its findings twice in the weeks after the scandal with top White House officials, including then-White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler. Each time, she and other presidential aides conducted an interview with the advance-team member and concluded that he had done nothing wrong.”
Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney even went as far as to say on April 23, “There’s no indication that any member of the White House advance team engaged in any improper conduct or behavior.”
Current White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest even took to Twitter Thursday bashing the report, saying The Post’s story had been “previously reported” by multiple sources two years ago.
Supposed WaPo “exclusive” was previously reported by AP, CBS, ABC, Politico, The Hill & others – 2 years ago. http://t.co/dk9qV0TbJK
— Josh Earnest (@PressSec) October 9, 2014
Prompting a minor stir:
— Paul Kane (@pkcapitol) October 9, 2014
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) October 9, 2014
Advertisement - story continues below
What do you think? Scroll down to comment below.