Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, who has taken most of the blame for the various White House security breaches over the past month, has resigned.
The most recent security breach, which seems to have pushed the tipping point, involved Iraq War veteran, Omar Gonzalez, who jumped the fence surrounding the White House, evaded several layers of security, and made his way into the White House’s East Room. What is even more shocking than the breach itself is Gonzalez was wielding a knife when he was subdued, which has raised concerns over potential threats to the president’s life.
This, as well as other incidents in the past month, are not the first time the Secret Service has come under fire for her handling of the security detail for the White House and the First Family. The first scandal Pierson had to deal with in her role as Secret Service Director involved a bullet left in a Washington hotel room by an agent after spending the night with a woman in the room.
In March of this year also, three agents were sent home while on duty in Amsterdam. The agents in question were found to be drunk less than 10 hours before they were supposed to provide security for the president.
When Pierson was named director in March 2013, many had hoped she could mend the Secret Service, which has had a multitude of scandals over the past few years.
Over the past few weeks, a number of representatives have called for her resignation.
Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., said, in a secret service hearing concerning Pierson, “You’re not taking your job seriously… I have very low confidence in the Secret Service under your leadership.”
The Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said, according to the Business Insider, he welcomes recommendations for a new director of the Secret Service. “I also request,” said Johnson, “that the panel advise me about whether it believes, given the series of recent events, there should be a review of broader issues concerning the Secret Service.”
Until the position is filled, Joseph Clancy, a former special agent in charge of the presidential protective division of the Secret Service, will take the place of interim director.