Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is stepping up pressure on the investigation into the Secret Service prostitution scandal, saying there’s something wrong in Washington “if heads don’t roll.”
“If it was just the 12 knuckleheads that were involved, as the president said, then I'd say [Secret Service] director [Mark] Sullivan got no problems,” Grassley told CBS "This Morning." “But if it goes much deeper, you know nothing happens, nothing's changed in Washington if heads don't roll.”
Grassley has been pressing the White House for more information on the controversy, including whether any administration staffers engaged in improper behavior, and on Friday called for an independent investigation by the inspector general of the Homeland Security Department.
"We've got to make sure the military people involved, the president's advance people, the communication office of the White House and the Secret Service, from now on into the future — this culture can't persist," Grassley said.
Eleven Secret Service agents and some members of the military assigned with advance security ahead of President Obama’s trip to Colombia last week are being investigated for allegedly bringing as many as 21 prostitutes back to their hotel.
Six of the agents have been fired, three have been cleared of serious misconduct, and the rest have been suspended pending further investigation. The scandal has since broadened to include allegations of impropriety by Secret Service agents in El Salvador, Argentina and Russia extending back to President Clinton’s administration, although those reports cited anonymous sources and have not been confirmed.
"We've got to get to the bottom of the allegations in order to know whether our national security is being protected and the president is being properly protected," Grassley said.
This story was updated at 11:05 am.