Secret Service investigates agents after White House crash
The US Secret Service is investigating two senior agents after a car crash at the White House.
A spokesman for the Secret Service told the BBC the collision happened during the evening on 4 March.
The Washington Post reported the agents drove the car into a security barricade after a night of drinking and partying.
The crash is the latest in a series of embarrassing incidents involving the agency charged with protecting President Barack Obama.
The Washington Post has identified the agents as Mark Connolly, deputy in charge of the president's security detail, and George Ogilvie, a senior supervisor in the agency's Washington office.
They had been attending a party at a nearby bar before the incident occurred, the Post reported.
A spokesman for the Secret Service said Director Joe Clancy had directed the department's internal investigator to look into the incident.
The Secret Service has reassigned the two agents to nonsupervisory, non-operational jobs during the investigation.
Trouble at the Secret Service
- 11 November 2011: A man fires several bullets at the White House and hits a second floor window. Four days pass before agents determine the building had been shot at. One of the president's daughters was home at the time.
- 13 April 2012: Agents providing security for President Obama in Colombia are recalled after being implicated in a prostitution scandal during a summit.
- 23 March 2014: Three agents protecting the president in Amsterdam are put on administrative leave after a night of drinking. One agent is reportedly found passed out in a hotel hallway.
- 16 September 2014: An armed man with an arrest record is allowed on an elevator with the president, violating Secret Service rules.
- 19 September 2014: A man with a knife climbs over the White House fence and is able to enter the building before being stopped by agents. The president had left the White House minutes earlier.
- 1 October 2014: Julia Pierson resigns as Secret Service director after a series of security lapses.
- 4 March 2015: Two agents crash a car into a White House security barrier.
Witnesses reportedly saw the officers in a car with illuminated emergency lights and said they had shown their badges in an attempt to get through a secured section of the White House complex.
The vehicle ran through security tape and hit temporary barricades that had been set up while security services investigated a suspicious package.
On Thursday, an unnamed White House official told Reuters Mr Obama was "aware of the allegations and supports director Clancy's decision to turn the investigation over to the DHS Inspector General for a thorough review".
Over the past several months, several of the agency's top officials have been forced to step down following multiple security lapses. A man from Texas was able to scale a fence and run into the White House while brandishing a knife before being detained.
The Secret Service is charged with protecting the president, vice-president, their families and other officials.
"The fact that this event involved senior-level agents is not only embarrassing but exhibits a clear lack of judgment in a potentially dangerous situation," the leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee - Republican chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah and top Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland - said on Wednesday.
Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman said he looked forward to hearing how Mr Clancy will respond to the incident.
"He has talked about 'zero tolerance' and I expect him to react accordingly," Mr Portman told reporters.