When Rep. Jason Chaffetz began asking the Secret Service about its string of high-profile failures, agents were quick to respond… with attempts to undermine the Congressman's credibility. Eighteen minutes after the hearings started, Secret Service agents -- dozens of them -- began poring through his 2003 Secret Service application in hopes of finding a few skeletons in his previously-vetted closet.
Even Secret Service Assistant Director Ed Lowery got in on the illegal fun, suggesting via email that "some information [Chaffetz] finds embarrassing needs to get out." Information did get out, but it had no effect on Chaffetz's reputation. The only people embarrassed were the Secret Service and DHS head Jeh Johnson, who was forced to apologize on its behalf.
Johnson's press release, detailing the results of the DHS's investigation of the incident, shows dozens were questioned about this violation of the Privacy Act. Better yet, it shows dozens were punished for their misconduct.
In all, the conduct of 57 Secret Service personnel was reviewed, including 11 at the SES [Senior Executive Service] level. Of those, 41 are receiving some level of discipline. This discipline includes a letter of reprimand to one individual, suspended discipline contingent on no further misconduct for a period of five years, and suspensions from duty without pay for periods of up to 45 days. The one individual found by the Inspector General to have disclosed the private information to an outside source, the Washington Post, has resigned from the Secret Service.