Julia Pierson, Director of the Secret Service was questioned by Congress on Wednesday, in regards to the recent incident at the White House on September 19th concerning, Omar Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, an Iraq veteran, armed with a knife, breached the fence of the White House, gained entry through unlocked doors, dodged capture by a female Secret Service officer and reached the threshold of the Green Room before he was properly detained by security. The door in which Gonzalez entered, did not have a guard posted and lacked proper security, such as an automatic locking system, which has since been installed to prevent further incidents.
Chairman Darrell Issa, via CNN, addresses his outraged concern for the First Family’s safety, as well as White House staff. “How on earth did this happen?” asked Chairman Darrell Issa. “Why was there no guard stationed at the front door of the White House, and yes, how much would it cost to lock the front door of the White House?” Questions continued as to if Gonzalez had a different weapon such as a firearm. Director Pierson has openly admitted that the proper protocols were not carried out correctly and takes full responsibility, assuring that the incident will never happen again.
Hours after the hearing, another incident that took place on September 19th, in Atlanta, arose concerning the presidents safety in an elevator where the operator was carrying a firearm at the CDC. The operator was behaving in an unprofessional demeanor, which lead to questioning and the firearm was discovered. The operator did not intend to be a threat to the President.
An outside party regarding Secret Service protocols and procedures will carry out an independent investigation.
According to the federal grand jury, Gonzalez is indicated on three different federal and district charges, which could hold him in jail for up to 17 years. His first appearance in court will be Wednesday, in Washington D.C.
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