Case of Duped Secret Service Agents Called an Alarming Agency Breach
The elite protection force is downplaying the severity of the case
Secret Service leaders are downplaying any risk to national security after four of its employees — including an agent assigned to protect first lady Jill Biden — were allegedly hoodwinked by two men impersonating federal agents and plying them with gifts, telling congressional committees and allies that the severity of the breach has been overblown by prosecutors and the media, according to people familiar with the conversations.
But several former Secret Service officials warn that the alleged infiltration of the elite protection agency reveals a major vulnerability extending well beyond this particular case. They said the revelations suggest that agents who had regular access to the White House and the Biden family — and who are supposed to be trained to spot scammers or spies seeking to ingratiate themselves — were either too greedy or gullible to question a dubious cover story.
"If you can compromise Secret Service personnel by cozying up to their agents and their uniformed officers, unwelcome sources can get to the president and the first family," said Jim Helminski, a retired agency executive and former leader of Joe Biden's vice-presidential detail.
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