ABC Reports on Allegations Against State Department of Prostitution Scandal Cover-Up

Former Obama bundler, Hillary Clinton's security agents investigated for soliciting prostitutes

• June 11, 2013 6:55 pm


ABC reported Tuesday on allegations of a cover-up at Hillary Clinton's State Department and internal memos raising questions whether security officers solicited prostitutes:

JONATHAN KARL: The embarrassing allegations are contained in an internal memo leaked by a former State Department investigator who blamed senior officials for interfering in the investigation. The most explosive allegation was that a U.S. ambassador regularly ditched his security detail to solicit sexual favors in a park near the embassy. The State Department says it thoroughly investigated the charges and concluded they were unfounded. The memo also cites an investigation of three of Hillary Clinton's security agents who allegedly solicited prostitutes while on official trips, including a March 2010 trip to Moscow and June 2010 trip to Columbia, almost two years before the Secret Service got in trouble for the same thing. The memo says the investigator also looked into similar allegations against four other members of Hillary Clinton's security detail and concluded the problem was endemic among security agents.

Karl added no agents were fired over the incidents, because prostitution was not a "fireable offense."

The ambassador under investigation is Howard Gutman, a prominent 2008 Obama bundler who was rewarded for raising $775,000 with his post in Belgium:

According to the IG memo, Gutman "routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children. … The ambassador’s protective detail and the embassy’s surveillance detection team … were well aware of the behavior."

Undersecretary of state for management Patrick Kennedy ordered the investigation closed, the whistleblower alleges. Gutman says the allegations are "baseless."

Gutman was previously in hot water over a controversial December 2011speech in Brussels in which he argued that Muslim anti-Semitism is caused, and in part justified, by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

State Department spokeswoman and former Obama campaign press secretary Jen Psaki insisted the use of prostitutes among agents was "hardly endemic."