Fact: the Secret Service’s reputation is circling the drain. Between fence jumpers, shots fired, and agents driving through active bomb investigations, House committee have been working overtime in an attempt to put out a dumpster fire that has been raging for years.

As for the Secret Service, they seem to be less concerned with fixing their image, and making sure their critics keep their mouths shut as scandals unfold.

The Washington Post is reporting that oversight committee staffers have asked the White House to investigate claims that officials at the Secret Service have been circulating documents showing that Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) was once rejected for a job as a Secret Service agent.

The matter has been referred to DHS for a thorough review—but the fact that we’re talking about it right now may be the end goal of whomever chose to release the information.

The Daily Beast spoke to Chaffetz about his application, trying to figure out if the Congressman’s investigations are grudge-fueled:

“It was because I was too old,” the Utah Republican told The Daily Beast. “I’m not sure [of the reason]…that’s more than a decade ago.”

The Secret Service now requires that applicants be between the ages of 21 and 37 at the time of appointment. Chaffetz said he was unsure whether he had applied in 2002 or 2003. He would have been 36 in 2003.

Asked whether he harbored any ill will at being rejected from the agency, he replied, “That’s pretty funny, no.” He pointed out that his grandfather had been a law enforcement agent.

The Washington Post went digging when the story first broke, and the response they received from the Secret Service and DHS was wholly unsatisfying:

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, who oversees the Secret Service, told The Washington Post in a telephone interview late Thursday that the complaints should be “fully investigated.”

“If and to the extent the matters reflected in this report are accurate, then the United States Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security owe the member of Congress an apology,” Johnson said. He added: “If true, those responsible should be held accountable.”

Johnson and Secret Service Director Joseph P. Clancy each called Chaffetz late Thursday night to personally apologize for the release of details of his Secret Service application and committed to helping find out how it happened and who was involved.

Chaffetz has been one of the agency’s most outspoken critics. Check out this clip from late last year, where he rips officials a new one over their response to the White House fence-jumper.

A bullet point list of abject failures. Ouch.

Confession time: my tinfoil hat is secured firmly to my head over this one. Before Benghazi, and the trail of bloody footprints that ensued, I was usually the first person to reject conspiracy theories—no matter how mild the subject matter.

Something about this Administration has changed that. I’ve found myself reading stories about scandals like the one currently being foisted on Chaffetz’s shoulders and thinking not, “Oh, #ThisTown…” but, “holy s**t, they’re trying to destroy this man.”

The Obama Administration will go down as one of the most deliberately malicious in history, but marring that black legacy will be instances such as this one if proven true: malice tainted with an air of desperation that only a spiraling leader could inspire in his troops.


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