Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memo on Friday instructing Justice Department employees to refrain from soliciting prostitutes.
“The solicitation of prostitution threatens the core mission of the Department, not simply because it invites extortion, blackmail, and leaks of sensitive or classified information, but also because it undermines the Department’s efforts to eradicate the scourge of human trafficking,” the memo warns.
Employees of the Justice Department have been involved in numerous scandals in the past few years. Most recently, employees of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) were caught participating in “sex parties” in Colombia with hired prostitutes, according to the Washington Post.
In a newly released report on the DEA scandal, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz learned that 10 DEA agents attended the “sex parties” but only seven admitted to being present.
The alleged “sex parties” occurred in agent living quarters, which were rented by the United States government.
The memo indicates that solicitation of prostitution by Justice Department employees is a violation of policy, whether the employee is on duty or off, and it is a violation of policy even if the act occurs in a jurisdiction where prostitution is legal.
“Regardless of whether prostitution is legal or tolerated in a particular jurisdiction soliciting prostitutes creates a greater demand for human trafficking victims and a consequent increase in the number of minor and adult persons trafficked into commercial sex slavery,” Holder wrote.
In 2012, members of the Secret Service admitted to meeting with prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia. The agents were in Colombia to provide security to President Obama for the Summit of the Americas.
Most of the agents involved in the Cartagena scandal were reportedly married.
The no solicitation of prostitution policy applies to all Justice Department employees, not only officers. “I want to reiterate to all Department personnel, including attorneys and law enforcement officers, that they are prohibited from soliciting, procuring, or accepting commercial sex,” Holder clarified.
Sources: Washington Post