“It is unclear why an organization led by a political appointee should be granted this access while the independent Office of the Inspector General is denied it,” the memo stated. “Without the ability to interview foreign nationals and access hotel records, it is impossible to determine if names associated with White House personnel are recorded as having checked in overnight female guests during their stay in Colombia.”
The inspector general’s office cannot make a case for turning its probe into a criminal investigation because the Justice Department says it can’t accept the office’s report, because the trial attorney in charge is working another case, according to Johnson.
“It is unclear why the workload of one trial attorney at DOJ would prevent the department from making a determination that would enable the OIG to conduct a full and independent investigation into such an important matter,” he said in the memo. “It is critical that these barriers be removed to allow the DHS OIG full access to foreign nationals and foreign records, and to ensure that the OIG’s efforts are truly independent prior to the office commencing the next phase of its investigation.”
Johnson’s memo said there are discrepancies between public statements and information uncovered in the IG’s investigation that suggest administration officials misled or withheld information from Congress.
Specifically, Johnson notes that Sullivan told Senators during a hearing in May that information at that time indicated that none of the prostitutes was involved in intelligence or criminal activities.
One of the prostitutes’ names was flagged in an intelligence database and is “still of concern,” according to the memo.
But a source familiar with the IG’s report has said the probe into the possible ties of that particular prostitute has come up inconclusive and that it’s important to note that the report ultimately concludes that the president’s security was never jeopardized by Secret Service agents’ actions on the trip.
Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report, which first appeared on CQ.com.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.