Politics

Secret Service Agents Facing Discipline For WH Breach

| by Alex Scarr

Secret Service agents are facing discipline for a March 10 security breach, in which a man was able to gain access to White House grounds after jumping several fences. He reportedly remained on the grounds for more than 15 minutes.

At least six agents are expecting to face disciplinary action for the breach, according to CNN. Jonathan Tran, 26, was able to jump several fences on White House grounds and made it all the way to President Donald Trump's bedroom window. Trump was in the White House at the time. Tran wasn't apprehended until approximately 16 minutes after he had gotten onto the White House lawn.

Sources told CNN the agents facing disciplinary action are from both the uniformed police division and special agents, although none had been put on administrative leave as of March 24. A Secret Service spokesperson declined to comment on any possible disciplinary action.

"The men and women of the Secret Service are extremely disappointed and angry in how the events of March 10th transpired," read a statement from the Secret Service after the breach. Tran was able to scale a 5-foot fence and an 8-foot gate before being located by agents. Tran set off several alarms after clearing the initial fence, but agents had trouble finding him.

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"Immediate steps have been taken to mitigate lapses in security protocols even as the investigation continues. These steps include additional posts, technology enhancements, and response protocols," read the statement.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, a Republican, was critical of the slow response from security officials.

"That's why we spend billions of dollars on personnel and dogs and technologies and fences and undercover people and video surveillance," said Chaffetz. "And yet the person is able to get up close to the White House and spend 17 minutes before he's apprehended. That's unbelievable."

Of the several attempted White House breaches in March, none have gotten as close to the president as Tran. A man approached a White House security checkpoint March 18, saying he had a bomb in his vehicle. The man was apprehended immediately and now faces up to 10 years in prison. Earlier in the month, a man leaped over a bike rack in an attempt to get to the White House fence. He was quickly captured.

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Tran was released from prison on his own personal recognizance and returned to his home state of California. He will wear a GPS tracking device and cannot stray farther than 100 miles from his home in San Jose.

Sources: CNN (2, 3), Secret Service / Photo credit: Eric Salard/Flickr

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