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Federal investigator: White House personnel may have been involved in Colombia prostitution scandal


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?test=latestnewsFox News:

The lead federal investigator into the Colombia prostitution scandal said for the first time Friday that White House personnel may have been involved -- despite administration claims to the contrary.

Charles Edwards, the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, wrote in a letter to Sen. Susan Collins that his office's investigation into the April incident found "a hotel registry that suggests that two (non-Secret Service) personnel may have had contact with foreign nationals."

The letter came two days after a FoxNews.com report revealed possible White House advance team involvement.

One of those employees, Edwards wrote, was a Defense Department employee "affiliated" with the White House Communication Agency.

The other, he said, "may have been" affiliated with the White House advance team.

The White House denied the claims Friday. And Edwards wrote that his office did not pursue those leads "because they are not DHS personnel."

Edwards wrote that while the allegations that went beyond the Secret Service "were outside the scope of the investigation, one of these employees is a Department of Defense employee affiliated with the White House Communication Agency and the other, whose employment status was not verified, may have been affiliated with the White House advance operation."

That statement, though, calls into question claims made back in April by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about the possible involvement of the White House team. Carney said that the White House counsel's office conducted a review and "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 Obama administration stood by its original claims in reaction to Edwards' statements.

A senior administration official said the member of the advance team was a "volunteer," as opposed to a White House employee. Further, the official said the volunteer was wrongly implicated based on inaccurate hotel records.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz backed up Carney in standing by the original White House review.

"As we've said for months, the White House review concluded that no members of the White House advance team, either staff or volunteers, engaged in inappropriate conduct during the president's trip to Colombia," Schultz said.




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