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Statement By Secretary Jeh C. Johnson On The Subpoenas Announced By Chairman Chaffetz

Release Date: 
March 31, 2015

For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
Contact: 202-282-8010

I regret that Chairman Chaffetz and his staff have taken the unprecedented and unnecessary step of subpoenaing two members of the U.S. Secret Service with the responsibility for the protection of the President, his family and the White House complex. Chairman Chaffetz’s assertion that this Department has been “uncooperative” is simply wrong.

In fact, Director Clancy testified several hours before the Chairman’s committee about the events of March 4 just last week.

In fact, Director Clancy met with Chairman Chaffetz the week of March 16 to brief him about the events of March 4.

In fact, the Department has provided a briefing and documents to committee staff regarding the events of March 4.

In fact, the Department offered a number of Secret Service personnel, including the two that have been subpoenaed, for transcribed interviews with committee staff.

For reasons that are unclear to me, Chairman Chaffetz and his staff rejected this offer.

Those of us who are senior leaders in the Executive Branch understand the obligation to appear before Congress and give public testimony. In 2014, I testified before Congress 12 times, in addition to my numerous other duties. However, our subordinates, in particular the men and women of the U.S. Secret Service with the responsibility to protect the President and his family, are a different story. Director Clancy and I must fight to protect them against the visibility, public glare, and inevitable second-guessing, of a congressional hearing. I hope Chairman Chaffetz appreciates this. I too want to know what happened on the night of March 4. This is why the Department’s Inspector General is conducting a thorough investigation into the matter.

I will continue to work with Chairman Chaffetz and his committee to reach a reasonable accommodation that serves the Committee’s need to conduct responsible oversight without compromising the U.S. Secret Service’s extraordinarily protection mission.   


Last Published Date: March 31, 2015
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