WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department’s ability to investigate wrongdoing by its staff is under question after a report that the agency tried to cover up several crimes committed has surfaced.
Some of the allegations are against then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail who allegedly hired prostitutes, a U.S. ambassador accused of trolling public parks for paid sex and a security official in Beirut committing sexual assaults on foreign nationals.
An internal memo from the State Department’s inspector general listed eight examples of wrongdoing by agency staff or contractors.
The memo also seems to indicate that the government agency tried to use its authority to stop the investigation and instead, opting to have the official, whose name has not been released, meet with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy in Washington. The official was then allowed to return to his job overseas.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters during Monday’s daily briefing that the department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security has requested a “review by outside, experienced law enforcement officers” who are working with the IG’s office to make “expert assessments about our current procedures.”
Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the allegations of misconduct appalling and said he would ask congressional staff members to start an investigation into all of the accusations.
However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stonewalled reporters Tuesday when asked about the alleged misconduct and possible cover up.
"I don't know what you're talking about," the Nevada Democrat said. "What are you talking about? ... I don't know what you're talking about."
According to the memo first obtained by CBS News, four members of Clinton’s security detail received one-day suspensions.
Allegations of misconduct are not new and have plagued the Obama administration for awhile.
In April 2012, members of the president’s Secret Service detail were caught in a prostitution scandal involving 12 women they picked up during an official trip to Colombia. The Secret Service was slow to disclose any information and issued only limited public statements in the weeks following the incident in Cartagena.
In the end, a dozen agents, officers, supervisors and 12 other U.S. military personnel were implicated in a night of heavy drinking and misconduct.
The Secret Service forced eight employees from their jobs. The military canceled the security clearances of all 12 enlisted personnel.
Fox News' James Rosen contributed to this report.