McCain: Pentagon was ‘woefully unprepared’ for Colombia scandal briefing

As a result, McCain said, lawmakers are considering "all available means for this Committee to obtain the information" that was not provided during Wednesday's DØD briefing. 

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Those available means could include bringing Pentagon officials before the committee to testify about the details of the growing fiasco that has engulfed the department and the White House. 

"Sen. McCain will continue to seek the information that he needs to perform his oversight duties. Hearings are obviously one means of obtaining that information," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told The Hill on Wednesday. 

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee, said Tuesday his committee also plans to call congressional hearings into the incident in the coming weeks. 

Those hearings will not focus solely on agents' behavior in Colombia, Lieberman said at the time. Rather, they will drill into the culture and environment inside the Secret Service and DOD that allowed the incident to happen, he told reporters Tuesday. 

"The focus will be what happened before" Colombia and what actions the White House could have taken then to prevent that kind of behavior, Lieberman said. 

Prior to Wednesday's meeting, McCain slammed the department for not meeting with lawmakers sooner. He and Levin had requested the briefing from DOD last Friday. 

“[Defense] Secretary [Leon] Panetta doesn’t, I think, sufficiently understand the role of the Armed Services Committee,” McCain told reporters Tuesday. 

Other committees overseeing the Secret Service have already been briefed by Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, the Arizona Republican said. 

But Wednesday's meeting did little to soothe mounting concerns on Capitol Hill over the incident. 

DOD briefers "provided appallingly little new information" on the Colombia trip, McCain said.

Joint Staff officials could not even provide lawmakers basic information about the trip, such as the date on which Obama arrived in the country or who the U.S. military commander in charge of the mission was. 

“We need to know the facts ... yet, we are being denied access to the information we need in order to make informed judgments or take needed actions. This is entirely unacceptable," according to McCain. 

A total of nine Secret Service agents in total have already been forced out of the agency or resigned as a result of the incident.

Three others were cleared of allegations but face administrative action, according to Secret Service Assistant Director Paul Morrissey.