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Alleged drunken driving agents may have run over suspicious package

 Alleged drunken driving agents may have run over suspicious package

Two Secret Service agents involved in an alleged drunken driving incident disrupted a bomb investigation and may have driven over a suspicious package, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The incident, which became public on Wednesday, has prompted scrutiny of new Secret Service leaders, who have been tasked with fixing the agency’s cultural problems that were exposed after a string of scandals last year.

On March 4, a woman threw a package toward a White House security post and yelled “it’s a bomb,” according to the Post.

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Approximately half an hour later, around 11 p.m., two agents returning from a party eight blocks away drove a government vehicle through the crime scene, breaking through police tape. The vehicle then crashed into a temporary barrier, the newspaper reported, citing interviews and police reports.

It's unclear if the agents drove over or close to the suspicious package, investigators who have reviewed surveillance footage of the incident told the Post.

A police explosives unit deemed the package, which contained a book, to be safe, at 11:45 p.m., the Post reported.

Uniformed officers believed the agents were drunk and wanted to place them under arrest, but were told by supervisors to let them go without facing a sobriety test, witnesses told the Post.

President Obama has “full confidence” in newly appointed Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy, deputy press secretary Eric Schultz told reporters on Thursday.

Schultz would not comment on specifics of the incident, citing an ongoing investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.

The two agents involved, including a senior member of Obama’s protective detail, have been reassigned, according to an agency official.

UPDATED ON MARCH 17:

The two agents at the center of the investigation may not have been driving as erratically as originally described in press reports, according to the Huffington Post
 
A source who saw surveillance footage of the incident told the publication that the two agents were shown driving very slowly and that their vehicle “nudged” a traffic barrel. 
 
The Washington Post originally reported that the vehicle “ran through security tape” before hitting security barricades at the White House. The Post’s story was also updated to reflect the vehicle drove beside a suspicious package at the scene, and not over it.