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GOP lawmaker says Secret Service 'ducked a bullet' in scandal

The Secret Service has “ducked a bullet” in the Colombia prostitute scandal, according to a Republican committee chairman who warned of potential breaches of national security.

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, on Wednesday said no evidence has turned up suggesting national security was compromised when agents brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms in Colombia last month. 

"It does not appear that any of the 12 women had any involvement other than prostitution," King told CNN. "They were not working for any narco-terrorist organization, and I think in a way the Secret Service has ducked a bullet." 

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King has said his main concern after the scandal broke was that the women involved had ties to foreign groups, but no evidence has emerged suggesting that's the case. U.S. officials have interviewed 10 of the 12 women involved in the incident, according to CNN.

“It appears that no material was obtained by any of the prostitutes, nothing is missing, all the BlackBerrys are accounted for, there was no president's schedule available," King said Wednesday. 

He said now that the immediate concern has been alleviated, the investigation gives the agency "the opportunity to clear up what has happened, do all it can to make sure it never happens again or at least minimizes it to make it very, very difficult for it to ever happen again." 

The Department of Homeland Security opened a separate investigation into the scandal on Monday, and several congressional committees are conducting their own lines of inquiry.

King submitted some 50 questions to Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan about what happened in Colombia, with responses due Wednesday. Sullivan also received questions from the House Oversight Committee. 

Although some lawmakers, such as Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), have called for Sullivan's removal, saying he is at fault for the culture of the agency, King expressed confidence in the director.

"Sullivan was giving us good information all along," he told CNN.

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