Chaffetz: DEA Chief Should Have Revoked Agents' Security Clearance
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) today reacted to the news that DEA chief Michele Leonhart will step down.
Leonhart’s decision to retire comes after a watchdog report about sexual misconduct within the DEA.
Lawmakers have been pushing for Leonhart's ouster since her appearance last Tuesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, when she attempted to respond to the scathing government watchdog report.
A majority of committee members later said in a letter they had lost confidence in her and that she "lacks the authority and will to make the tough decisions required to hold those accountable who compromise national security and bring disgrace to their positions."
The IG report recounted allegations that drug agents attended sex parties with prostitutes, some funded by local drug cartels, in a foreign country. The DEA said the incidents happened in Colombia.
Leonhart has said that she wasn’t given the power to fire the agents, and Chaffetz agreed that the law needs to change so that DEA chiefs can use more discretion. But he noted that she could have done other things, like allowed the inspector general to investigate or revoked drug agents’ security clearance.
“If you’re having these sex parties that are funded by the drug cartels, you can’t revoke their security clearance? Are you kidding me? Nobody bought that,” Chaffetz said.