His meet-cute (if this was a romantic comedy) with the young woman at the May 20 event ended with him later sending her sexual images and suggestive texts. His possible distraction at the event and the subsequent messaging has put the junior agent under the scrutiny of federal investigators.
The Secret Service learned about the communication after the National Enquirer contacted the agency.
“The U.S. Secret Service is aware of these allegations,” USSS spokesman Brian Leary told Leonnig. “As is our policy with any allegation of misconduct, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS-OIG) has been notified and this matter will be investigated jointly between the DHS-OIG and the Secret Service Office of Professional Responsibility. At this time, the individual has been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation.”
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The first lady was speaking at an event to honor military caregivers with former Republican senator Elizabeth Dole, a federal official told Leonnig. The agent, who newly joined the Washington Field Office, was posted on the outer perimeter of the event when he spotted the woman, a private events planner.
The First Lady’s office declined to comment on the incident.
The agent used his personal phone to text with the woman and the communications were all made while he was off duty more than eight hours after Michelle Obama finished speaking and left the event, Leonnig was told.
A lesson in this seems to be don’t mix business with pleasure. Especially when your business is protecting the first lady.