The Slatest

Video Shows Secret Service Agents Who’d Been Drinking Hitting Traffic Barrel Near Suspicious Package

The agents’ car as it passes near the suspicious package.

Screen shot/AP

The Secret Service’s most recent scandal involves two agents who, after drinking at a March 4 party, drove a government vehicle into a security barrier outside the White House in the area of a suspicious-package investigation. Much initial coverage of the incident interpreted the Washington Post’s description of it—agents “drove a government car into White House security barricades after drinking at a late-night party,” the paper wrote—to mean that a dramatic crash had occurred. (The Post also said the car “ran through security tape” before hitting barricades, and an initial headline described the situation as a “car accident.”) Testifying subsequently before Congress, though, Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy, though, said the agents had only “nudged” an “orange construction-type barrel.”

So how worrisome, exactly, was this collision? Well, now you can decide for yourself: Gumshoe Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah has made security footage of the incident public.

The verdict here: It’s not really a “crash” or a “car accident” … but it’s not the Secret Service’s finest moment, either, especially given that a supervisor then sent the agents home without subjecting them to a sobriety test.