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The Secret Service has been in the news lately in various volatile situations.
In July, the agency made headlines following head-turning testimony during a prime-time hearing of the Jan. 6 Committee.
Former Trump White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson made several explosive claims that then-President Donald Trump grabbed the steering wheel of the presidential limo that was shuttling him back to the White House following his speech after being told, allegedly, by Secret Service agents he couldn’t go to the Capitol, where a riot was in progress.
Within hours, however, the account was being disputed.
But, text messages between Secret Service agents that could clear up controversy over bombshell allegations made last month by a former Trump administration official are nowhere to be found.
“The former aide said that she was told of the altercation in the SUV immediately afterward by a White House security official and that Bobby Engel, the head of the detail, was in the room and didn’t dispute the account at the time.
Engel had grabbed Trump’s arm to prevent him from gaining control of the armored vehicle, she was told, and Trump then used his free hand to lunge at Engel,” The Associated Press reported.
“Engel, the agent who was driving the presidential SUV, and Trump security official Tony Ornato are willing to testify under oath that no agent was assaulted and Trump never lunged for the steering wheel, a person familiar with the matter said.
The person would not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity,” The AP added.
But as Hutchinson’s version of events continues to be disputed or supported by various political factions, text messages between Secret Service agents that could clear up the controversy once and for all have mysteriously disappeared, the Washington Post reported.
To add to the case of the missing text messages the Secret Service was then in the news again, and not in a flattering light.
A Secret Service agent who went to Israel ahead of President Joe Biden was first detained, then sent back to the United States, after an alleged “physical encounter” with a woman.
The agent was detained and questioned by Israeli police, but was not charged before they sent him home and had his access to Secret Service information suspended, NBC News reported.
“In accordance with agency protocol, his access to Secret Service systems and facilities was suspended pending further investigation,” a spokesperson for the CIA said.
CBS News reported:
A male off-duty Secret Service agent was with other agents on Monday night at a Jerusalem bar. A woman at the bar interacted with the agent and an argument ensued. During the altercation, the agent shoved the woman, according to the three sources.
The woman involved was not injured, the sources said, but she called the Israeli police to report the agent.
Israeli police took the agent into custody and notified the U.S. Embassy in Israel, which contacted U.S. Secret Service headquarters, according to the three sources.
The agent involved was a member of the Counter Assault Team, a heavy weapons tactical unit of the Secret Service that assists the Presidential Protective Division, according to a source familiar with the matter.
This Counter Assault Team is usually deployed ahead of high-profile presidential trips.
“We hold all employees to the highest professional standards and you are seeing the results of our strong culture of accountability,” Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said.
He said that agents are required to undergo “annual integrity training” and have briefings on “professional standards” and conduct prior to embarking on any foreign assignments.
Now there has been more trouble for the Secret Service on Tuesday at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
White House officials reported an incident involving an officer of the agency.
According to Axios, a uniformed Secret Service officer was physically assaulted near the White House Tuesday afternoon.
The outlet cited an agency spokesperson who provided an initial statement.
Axios reported that the incident occurred around 12:30 p.m. in an area where tourists and visitors frequent.
The report said that the officer did not suffer any life-threatening injuries.
“The officer was attacked ‘without provocation’ near a guard booth, the spokesperson said.
A man has been arrested and an investigation has been opened into the incident,” the outlet reported.
Conservative Brief reported that the Hill noted:
The man had no known motive and the Secret Service is investigating, according to a person familiar with the matter.
President Biden was at the White House at the time of the incident, but it did not impact his public events.
Biden delivered remarks on the South Lawn minutes before the alleged assault as he signed the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, and he spoke later in the afternoon in the East Room to sign accession protocols for Finland and Sweden to join NATO.
The attacker’s name has not been released.