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Secret Service Incident in Netherlands Was on Heels of Car Wreck during Obama’s Miami Trip

secret service photo

By Carol D. Leonnig, David Nakamura and Michael Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writers

WASHINGTON — As the U.S. Secret Service arrived in the Netherlands last weekend for a presidential trip, managers were already on high alert to avoid any further em­barrassing incidents involving agents.

The agency’s director had admonished supervisors after two counter-sniper officers suspected of drinking were involved in a March 7 car accident during a presidential visit to Miami, according to several people with knowledge of the incident. The driver passed a field sobriety test and was not arrested.

So in Amsterdam on Saturday night, Secret Service supervisor George Hartford had the Miami incident in mind when he issued a warning to a group of agents gathered for dinner: Go out if you want, but stay out of trouble.

By the next morning, Hartford was pounding on the hotel door of a 34-year-old junior agent who had passed out drunk in a hallway and later had to be lifted into his room by several hotel employees, according to a hotel spokesman and two other people familiar with the incident. The agent claimed to have no memory of the events.

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