The Secret Service's assistant director urged the public release of unflattering information about Rep. Jason Chaffetz following critical remarks by the Utah Congressman.
The Washingon Post reports Assistant Director Edward Lowery wrote about Chaffetz in an email, "Some information that he (Chaffetz) might find embarrassing needs to get out. Just to be fair."
Two days later it was widely reported that Chaffetz had once applied to be a Secret Service agent and was rejected.
The report by John Roth, inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, singled out Lowery, in part because of his senior position at the agency. The report also cited Lowery’s e-mail as the one piece of documentary evidence showing the degree of anger inside the agency at Chaffetz and the desire for the information to be public.
Lowery had been promoted to the post of assistant director for training just a month earlier as part of an effort that Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy said would reform the agency after a series of high-profile security lapses. Clancy had tapped Lowery to join a slate of new leaders he installed after removing more than two-thirds of the previous senior management team.
During the IG’s probe, Lowery denied to investigators that he directed anyone to leak the private information about Chaffetz to the press and said his e-mail was simply a vent for his stress and anger.
The Chaffetz file, contained in the restricted database, had been peeked at by about 45 Secret Service agents, some of whom shared it with their colleagues in March and April, the report found. This prying began after a contentious March 24 House hearing at which Chaffetz scolded the director and the agency for its series of security gaffes and misconduct. The hearing sparked anger inside the agency.