U.S. military detail assigned to Vice President Mike Pence have been removed from their duties for allegedly bringing women back to their hotel in Panama.
The senior service members, three Army soldiers and Air Force airman, were caught on video bringing the women into a secured area, U.S. defense officials told NBC News.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 24, 2017
“We are aware of the incident and it is currently under investigation,” Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Paul Haverstick said Thursday. “We can confirm that the individuals in question have been reassigned back to the Army.”
Pence was reportedly still in the U.S. when his staff saw security camera video of the soldiers, members of the White House Communications Agency, bring in the women who were not registered, according to NBC.
“All four members were removed from Panama before the vice president arrived and have subsequently been removed from White House Communications Agency duty,” Karen Brazell, chief of staff to the White House Military Office, wrote in an email to the Washington Free Beacon Monday.
“At this time, no evidence of prostitution exists with any of the removed service members,” Brazell added.
The hotel manager in Panama reportedly complained about alleged misconduct by the US team who were at the location ahead of a visit by the vice president and his wife on the final stop of their tour of Latin America. Though there has been no comment as yet from Pence, the vice president who raised eyebrows for declaring he would never dine with another woman alone except for his wife, would surely not approve of inappropriate behavior by anyone on his detail.
Senior Secret Service agents launched an investigation, determined not to relive the scandal of having more than a dozen agents sent home and lose their jobs in 2012 after alcohol and prostitution allegations while doing advance work for former President Obama’s trip to Colombia.
Once the agents determined that no one on their team was involved, they contacted the White House Communications Agency team which promptly sent the four service members home after their own investigation, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The service members who are part of the White House Communications Agency come from different branches of the military and work in a supportive role with the Secret Service protecting communications and information services.
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