'Appalled' Royce launches probe into reports of State Department obfuscation

ADVERTISEMENT
CBS reported Monday on a memo outlying the concerns of the State Department Office of Inspector General.

The memo states that the Diplomatic Security Service in 2011 investigated reports that a U.S. ambassador in a sensitive post “routinely ditched” his security detail, possibly in order to “solicit sexual favors from prostitutes.” The ambassador was admonished by his superiors, CBS reported, but remained in his post.

The memo also highlights allegations that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's security detail had an “endemic” habit of hiring prostitutes on trips abroad, that a State Department official in Beirut sexually assaulted foreign embassy guards and that an “underground drug ring” near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad supplied State Department contractors with drugs.

The State Department has forcefully denied allegations that it quashed internal investigations involving the use of prostitutes and other misdeeds by agency employees.

“The notion that we would not vigorously pursue criminal misconduct in any case is preposterous," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday.

Royce and ranking member Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) wrote to Kerry back in February urging him to press President Obama to name an inspector general for the State Department. The department has lacked a Senate-confirmed IG since January 2008.

Please send tips and comments to Julian Pecquet: jpecquet@thehill.com

Follow us on Twitter: @TheHillGlobal and @JPecquetTheHill