- Investigator has claimed he was asked to withhold information from report
- David Nieland says he was asked to delay findings until after 2012 election
- Adds he was asked to alter report which would be ‘potentially embarrassing‘
- But the White House maintain that the claims are unfounded
Jennifer Newton for MailOnline
08:26 GMT, 9 October 2014
14:09 GMT, 9 October 2014
The White House has been accused of a cover up after claims a senior member of the presidential team was involved in the 2012 Colombian prostitution scandal.
The scandal saw some secret service agents and members of the military dismissed after they brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms in Cartegena, Colombia.
They were sent to the resort city to prepare security and communications the week before a visit by President Obama in April 2012.
The White House has been accused of a cover up after claims a member of the presidential team was involved in the 2012 Colombian prostitution scandal
The scandal alleged that Secret Service agents and members of the military brought prostitutes back to their rooms at this hotel in Cartenga, Colombia
It had been alleged that a member of the presidential team was also involved in the scandal, but the White House said at the time that the claims were unfounded.
But now the lead investigator of the scandal at the Department of Homeland Security has said he was asked to withhold certain information from the report.
According to the Washington Post, David Nieland told Senate staffers that he was asked to delay his report until after the 2012 election.
He explained: ‘We were directed at the time . . . to delay the report of the investigation until after the 2012 election.
Mr Nieland added that his superiors told him ‘to withhold and alter certain information in the report of investigation because it was potentially embarrassing to the administration.’
He also claims that he and a colleague were put on administrative leave when they questioned the report.
In 2012, a hotel record suggesting a member of President Obama’s team might have been involved in the scandal was uncovered in another report.
However, a senior administration official said the White House determined the record was false and that the person in question did nothing wrong.
Agents had been sent to the resort city to prepare security and communications the week before a visit by President Obama in 2012
Dania Suarez, pictured, the 24-year-old prostitute who was revealed to be at the centre of the scandal
The White House review found that a guest, perhaps a prostitute, had signed in to visit the same room assigned to that volunteer member of Obama’s team.
This occurred at the Hilton hotel where Obama would later stay during his visit.
But they found that the hotel log was false and that there was no other evidence to corroborate that the individual had received a visitor.
The Post named the team member as White House volunteer Jonathan Dach but he has denied any involvement in a statement through his attorney.
A dozen Secret Service officers, agents and supervisors were implicated in the Colombia scandal.
Eight have been forced out of the agency, three were cleared of serious misconduct and at least two employees were fighting to get their jobs back.
The Secret Service has been embroiled in a string of controversies recently, which led to the resignation of the agency’s director Julia Pierson, pictured
The misconduct became public after a dispute over payment between a Secret Service agent and a prostitute at a Cartagena hotel in April 2012.
All the alleged activities took place before Obama arrived in Cartagena for meetings with 33 other regional leaders, but the scandal overshadowed his visit.
Eventually, the prostitute at the centre of the scandal was revealed to be a 24-year-old woman called Dania Suarez.
Recently, the Secret Service has become embroiled in another string of controversies including a White House break-in by a man with a knife last month.
The agency’s director, Julia Pierson, resigned amid the controversy.