Julia Pierson has officially resigned her position as chief of the Secret Service. The news comes after senior lawmakers grilled her on the recent White House breach, calling it unacceptable. Recently someone was able to jump the fence at the White House and make it inside. Apparently the person made it even further into the building than was originally revealed.
Julia Pierson urged to resign
Earlier today, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle urged Pierson to resign after Tuesday’s congressional hearing on the topic. She said at that hearing that the Secret Service had made mistakes in executing its security plan, reports CNBC. Lawmakers said if Pierson did not resign, then President Obama should fire her. Pierson said she took full responsibility and a breach like the Sept. 19 incident would never happen again.
The breach involved 42-year-old Omar Gonzalez, who climbed the northern fence at the White House and broke through the unlocked door on the North Portico. He stormed past a Secret Service Agent and right into the East Room. He was carrying a 3 ½ inch serrated knife when he broke in. The Obama family had just left the White House minutes before he broke in.
Breaches in Secret Service protocol
Pierson admitted in her testimony this week that two agents saw Gonzalez outside the fence and recognized him from another incident this past summer. He was reportedly caught not far from the White House with a hatchet tucked into his waistband. The two agents who saw him didn’t make contact with him or even report that he was there before he climbed the fence.
Pierson has only been on the job for 18 months. The Secret Service had sustained a series of embarrassments before she took the helm, but now she has one of own. Pierson said 16 people have climbed the fence in the last five years, with six of them doing it this year alone.
Interim Secret Service director announced
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has appointed Joseph Clancy interim Acting Director of the Secret Service. Clancy was previously Special Agent in Charge of the Secret Service’s Presidential Protective Division.