The investigator who led the internal inquiry into the 2012 Secret Service prostitution scandal resigned in August, after he was implicated in his own incident involving a prostitute, according to a report from The New York Times.
Local law enforcement in Florida reportedly saw David Nieland, the investigator, going in and out of a building they were surveilling as part of a prostitution investigation. The prostitute later identified Nieland as a client.
Nieland is said to have resigned after he refused to answer questions from the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General’s Office. The DHS is the supervising agency of the Secret Service.
Nieland was the lead investigator examining charges that several Secret Service agents used prostitutes while in Cartagena, Colombia, in advance of a trip to the country by President Obama.
Nieland has said that he was asked to keep information out of his final report to protect the child of a Democratic donor, who was volunteering with the White House advance team on the trip. Some were suspicious that the volunteer had brought a prostitute back to his room.
He says that he was later suspended without pay for two weeks as retaliation. His supervisors have said it was because he circulated around his office images of a female intern’s feet.
A later investigation by a Senate committee found that language was removed from and altered in the report, but could not determine what the motivations for those changes might have been. Nieland claimed that the alterations were politically motivated. The interim inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security said that the language had been removed as part of the standard editing process.
Still, Nieland’s claims have been revived in recent weeks in the media and on Capitol Hill.
Nieland’s allegations were featured in a Washington Post investigation into the Secret Service’s Cartagena inquiry.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who has been a leading critic of the Secret Service in response to recent lapses in presidential security, also said that he had received information that the trip volunteer had used the services of a prostitute while in Cartagena.
Chaffetz is believed to be in the running for the chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — and the Secret Service controversy has helped to keep his profile high in advance of House leaders making any decisions about committee leadership.
This post was updated at 2:57 p.m. on October 29.