A searing report published Wednesday by the Washington Post implicated a White House advance team member in the 2012 Secret Service prostitution scandal and raised questions about whether that involvement was covered up.
The Secret Service has been in the hot seat in recent weeks as revelations about its shoddy response to security breaches led to the resignation of director Julia Pierson, who was brought in to steer the agency after its infamous 2012 prostitution scandal.
But according to the Washington Post report, hotel logs and government documents showed that a law school student who was serving as a volunteer on the White House advance team may have also hosted a prostitute in his Cartagena, Columbia hotel room.
The volunteer, Jonathan Dach, was a 25-year-old Yale University Law Student at the time tasked with coordinating drivers for the White House travel office, according to the Post.
The Post reviewed copies of the Hilton Cartagena Hotel’s logs for Dach’s stay, which showed a woman was registered to his room just after midnight on April 4, 2012. The logs included a photocopy of the woman’s ID card, according to the report. The Hilton requires prostitutes to provide identification for the hotel’s records to ensure they are not underage. Prostitution is legal in Cartagena, according to the Post.
Dach’s attorney told the Post that his client, who now works in the State Department, denied hiring a prostitute or bringing anyone to his hotel room in Cartagena. White House spokesman Eric Shultz also told the newspaper that the White House’s internal review of the prostitution scandal, conducted more than two years ago, found no inappropriate behavior on the part of the advance team.
But according to the Post’s report, the Department of Homeland Security team probing the Secret Service’s involvement in the scandal found that the name of the woman listed on the Hilton logs for Dach’s room matched the name of a Columbian woman advertising herself as a prostitute on the Internet.
The lead on that DHS investigation, David Nieland, was told to remove evidence connected to Dach from his team’s official report, according to documents reviewed by the Post. The newspaper also spoke to three anonymous sources who said Nieland told the DHS inspector general’s office that he was told to delay the release of the investigation until after the 2012 election.
Nieland was later put on administrative leave.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest dismissed the Post report as old news on Twitter:
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