Politico

Secret Service: 2 employees on leave after ‘off-duty incident’ amid Biden’s Asia trip


The U.S. Secret Service on Friday confirmed that two of its employees have been “placed on administrative leave” following an “off-duty incident” amid President Joe Biden’s trip to Asia this week.

Reuters reported on Friday that a member of Biden’s advance security team had been arrested in Seoul a day before Biden arrived in the South Korean capital. The report, citing local police, stated that the security team member was accused of drunkenly assaulting a South Korean citizen.

Anthony Guglielmi, chief of communications for the USSS, said in a statement that the agency “is aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees which may constitute potential policy violations.”

“The individuals will be immediately returned back to their post of duty and placed on administrative leave,” Guglielmi said. “There was no impact to the upcoming trip.”

Only one employee was investigated by local authorities, and no one was detained, arrested or criminally charged, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the situation.

Guglielmi said that USSS officials “have very strict protocols and policies for all employees and we hold ourselves to the highest professional standards.”


“Given this is an active administrative personnel matter, we are not in a position to comment further,” Guglielmi added.

The White House referred questions on the Reuters report to the Secret Service.


South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper was seemingly first to report that a Department of Homeland Security employee, intended to “escort” Biden in the country, “was charged with assault when he was intoxicated and had an argument with a local.”

Biden arrived in South Korea on Friday and visited the Samsung Electronics campus in Pyeongtaek, where he delivered remarks alongside South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

Biden is expected to arrive in Seoul later Friday, where he will remain until Sunday, when he will travel to Tokyo.

Continue

About the author

Lisa

Leave a Comment