Obama aides were made aware of a possible link between the White House and the 2012 prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, in the weeks after the story, despite denying any White House wrongdoing, according to a report published Wednesday by the Washington Post.
The report is based on documents and interviews with government officials, from which the U.S. newspaper concluded that White House aides were provided reliable information that a presidential advance-team member had a prostitute in his hotel room as an overnight guest.
The White House claims it investigated the alleged involvement of Jonathan Dacha, the advance-team member, and concluded he had not acted inappropriately. Evidence found by the Washington Post, however, strongly suggests otherwise.
Also revealed in the report is the apparent pressure put on investigators in the Department of Homeland Security to delay a report containing more evidence of the Dacha’s involvement for political reasons.
The head investigator at the time, David Nieland, claimed that he was told “to delay the report of the investigation until after the 2012 election” by his superiors in the inspector general’s office, according to three Washington Post sources. The report says office staffers claimed to have been put on leave for challenging the alleged decision to not investigate Dacha further.
According to the White House’s current spokesperson Eric Schultz, the Obama administration did not interfere with the investigations undertaken by the inspector general’s office. A Senate report on the incident in April claimed it was unable to verify Nieland’s assertions that he had been asked to delay his report.
Members of the Secret Service are reportedly upset that their colleagues have felt heat while the White House apparently denied to fully investigate its team member.
Dacha, meanwhile, is currently working full-time as a policy adviser in the State Department’s Office on Women’s Issues. His father, Leslie Dacha, is also a member of the Obama administration and donated more than $20,000 to the president’s 2008 campaign.