April 08, 2019

Senator Warren Says Homeland Security Watchdog Should Examine Secret Service Director Firing

Amid Secret Service Director Firing and New Information in Mar-a-Lago Breach Case, Senator Warren Calls for Inspector General to Expand Investigation of White House Intervention in Presidential Security at Mar-a-Lago


Text of Letter (PDF)


Washington, DC – United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today sent a letter to John V. Kelly, Acting Inspector General (IG) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), asking that the DHS IG expand the investigation she requested last week to also include the circumstances surrounding President Trump’s reported firing today of the Secret Service Director.


Last week, after reports of a security breach at Mar-a-Lago, Senator Warren called for an investigation into whether the White House is interfering with or overruling Secret Service recommendations about which guests at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club should have access to the President. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), completed at Senator Warren’s request, revealed that while the Secret Service is primarily responsible for establishing the physical security of the President, it is the White House’s Executive Office of the President (EOP) that “ultimately determines whether or not an individual should be granted access to the President.” The GAO report identified no shortcomings in the role and activities of the Secret Service, but reported that the EOP did not cooperate with the GAO investigation.


Today’s letter follows the firing of Secret Service Director Randolph Alles and new reports that reveal the March Mar-a-Lago breach may have been more serious than initially indicated and that an FBI investigation into possible Chinese espionage activities is underway.  The series of reports raises questions about whether the President’s Florida resort may be a channel through which foreign adversaries are seeking to influence federal policy or obtain important national security information from the President and his allies, and whether, rather than taking responsibility for White House actions, the President is scapegoating the Secret Service Director.  


“These two reports are deeply troubling, raising additional concerns about how the White House is handling Secret Service security matters at Mar-a-Lago and elsewhere,” wrote Senator Warren. “I therefore write to ask that you expand any investigation of the recent security breach at Mar-a- Lago to include an examination of the circumstances surrounding President Trump's reported firing of the Secret Service Director.”