There will be no happy ending for the White House with this scandal.
News broke late last night that not only was a member of the White House advance team involved in the 2012 Colombian prostitution scandal that rocked the Secret Service, the Obama administration went to great lengths to cover it up.
Carol Leonnig and David Nakamura of the Washington Post reported that Jonathan Dach, a member of the White House advance team who traveled to Colombia, hired a prostitute and brought her to his hotel room as an overnight guest. Not only did very senior White House officials do nothing about the issue when detailed information about it was brought to their attention, they covered it up, pretended they had no knowledge of it, and even allowed Dach — the son of a prominent Obama donor — to later work as a policy adviser in the Office of Global Women’s Issues within the State Department.
On April 23, 2012, former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked who was involved in the scandal. Here was his answer:
CARNEY: There have been no specific, credible allegations of misconduct by anyone on the White House advance team or the White House staff. Nevertheless, out of due diligence, the White House Counsel’s office has conducted a review of the White House advance team, and in concluding that review, came to the conclusion that there’s no indication that any member of the White House advance team engaged in any improper conduct or behavior.
The Washington Post account of what happened, though, could not be more different:
As nearly two dozen Secret Service agents and members of the military were punished or fired following a 2012 prostitution scandal in Colombia, Obama administration officials repeatedly denied that anyone from the White House was involved.
But new details drawn from government documents and interviews show that senior White House aides were given information at the time suggesting that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member — yet that information was never thoroughly investigated or publicly acknowledged.
The information that the Secret Service shared with the White House included hotel records and firsthand accounts — the same types of evidence the agency and military relied on to determine who in their ranks was involved.
But we don’t get to the real issue of why the White House wasn’t all that interested in getting to the bottom of the scandal until a bit later in the Washington Post story:
Administration officials interviewed by The Post earlier this year said there was no reason to investigate Dach beyond interviews with him and his fellow White House team members and a review of their expense accounts, because he was not a government employee and because prostitution is legal in parts of Colombia, including Cartagena.
There you have it. There’s a war on women, all right, and it’s being waged by this White House.