Today is August 3, 2015. The definition of “defiant” is “boldly resistant or challenging.” The Secret Service has been “defiant” since the filing of my first FOIA request on June 18, 2012. As a result of three years of defiance and failure to even attempt to produce responsive documents, suit was filed on March 6, 2015. It’s now been 5 months since suit was filed, and DHS has only produced a single report on June 25, 2015. The amazing thing is that this single report appears to have been created in 2012, and was clearly responsive to my FOIA requests. It should have been produced shortly after my initial request. It is the type of summary report on the Colombia incident that was readily identifiable and probably circulated years ago. That report documented that investigators of the Colombia incident were provided with video tapes from the hotel in Colombia, but none has been produced. The report indicated lie detector statements of the agents were taken,but none have been produced. I’ve asked for expense records and charges made to tax payers for the expenses incurred by the Secret Service agents, but none have been provided. I asked for documents that reflected the “pending investigation” referenced in the letter of February of 2013, but none has been provided. I’ve asked for the documents pertaining to the investigation of the allegations made by Shailey Tripp pertaining to Todd Palin and David Chaney. None has been provided.
A report ranking the federal agencies for compliance with the provisions of the FOIA awards a D+ to the Department of Homeland Security.
Thus, even after the filing suit, the DHS seems no more interested in attempting to comply with it’s obligations under the law, than it was three years ago. Moreover, I have felt that the Secret Service, and A.T. Smith in particular, have repeatedly attempted to intimidate me. In April it became clear that the Secret Service has demonstrated an intentional attempt to intimidate and defy the authority of Congress.
House Oversight chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) received apologies on Thursday
from both DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and acting Secret Service chief Joseph Clancy, after a leak
within the agency about Chaffetz’ own attempt to join the Secret Service. Chaffetz has become one of the most vocal public critics of the agency’s performance, and it seems as though one or more people within the Secret Service wanted to retaliate. Big mistake
Senior staffers for a House committee overseeing the Secret Service have asked the Obama administration to investigate complaints that agency employees circulated private personnel information revealing that the panel’s chairman was once rejected for a job as an agent, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The committee staff referred the issue Thursday to the Department of Homeland Security after receiving whistleblower complaints that Secret Service staff at agency headquarters had circulated potentially unflattering information about Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). He has been an outspoken critic of Secret Service managers after a string of security lapses.
If the leakers thought they could embarrass Chaffetz, he set them straight quickly:
“I won’t be intimidated, but I’m sure that’s what it’s intended to do,” [Chaffetz] said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking Democratic member of the committee, called the allegations “disturbing” and agreed with Johnson that they must be thoroughly investigated.
“If that’s true, I find it appalling,” Cummings said. “There is absolutely no room for this kind of activity in the Secret Service… If true, it simply continues to erode the credibility of one of our most important agencies.”