Jerusalem — A member of the U.S. Secret Service was sent back to the United States from Israel on Monday after allegedly involved in a “physical encounter” in Jerusalem and briefly detained by Israeli police, the agency said.
A Secret Service spokesperson on Wednesday told CBS News that the agency was briefed on the encounter late Monday and that the agent working in Israel “was briefly detained and questioned by Israeli police and released him without charge.”
The four people the discussion was told had more details about the agent’s night.
An off-duty Secret Service agent was with other agents at a bar in Jerusalem on Monday night. A woman at the bar interacted with the agent and an argument ensued. According to three sources, the agent pushed the woman during the argument.
Sources said the woman involved was not injured, but called the Israeli police to report the agent.
According to three sources, Israeli police detained the agent and notified the US Embassy in Israel, which contacted the US Secret Service headquarters.
According to a source familiar with the matter, the agent in question was a member of the Counter Assault Team, a heavy weapons tactical unit assisting the Secret Service’s Presidential Protection Unit.
This Counterstrike Team is often deployed before high-profile presidential tours.
“The employee has returned to the United States,” the Secret Service also said. “In accordance with agency protocol, her access to Secret Service systems and facilities has been suspended for further investigation.”
Two people who were aware of the incident said that alcohol was involved in the incident. Another person familiar with the internal investigation told CBS News that the Secret Service was investigating whether the agent was drunk. The source also said the agent is expected to reveal what happened to the Secret Service early Wednesday.
The incident occurred as President Biden was due to arrive in Tel Aviv as part of his four-day visit to the Middle East, and it was his first visit to the region as president. Besides a stop in Israel, Mr. Biden will also visit the West Bank and Saudi Arabia.
When asked about further details about the agent pushing the woman to Jerusalem, Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told CBS News the ministry was unable to comment or confirm any details, “given that our investigation has only just begun.”
“We hold all employees to the highest professional standards, and you see the results of our strong culture of responsibility,” said Guglielmi, adding that all agents must undergo “annual integrity training” and be briefed on “professional standards” and conduct beforehand. leaving any foreign assignment.
Also, this isn’t the first time a Secret Service agent has been sent back to the United States ahead of a presidential trip overseas. In May, two Secret Service employees were sent home from Seoul, South Korea, on administrative leave after an off-duty incident in which one of the members got into a physical “argument” with a local taxi driver.
Local police investigated the incident and no one was detained or charged. Secret Service members left for the US less than an hour and a half before Mr. John. Biden was due to arrive in South Korea as part of a five-day trip through Asia.
Arden Farhi contributed to the reporting.
Leave a Comment