Secret Service agents, who are tasked with protecting the president, his family and other dignitaries and officials, have had their professionalism and commitment to duty questioned in recent years.
Their reputation won’t be helped any following a report by the New York Daily News of a laptop containing incredibly sensitive material being stolen from the vehicle of an agent in the driveway of her own home in Brooklyn Thursday morning.
Citing an anonymous source within the New York Police Department with knowledge of the incident, the Daily News stated that the laptop was believed to contain the floor plans of Trump Tower, evacuation protocols for the building, information pertaining to the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and other national security-related information.
The thief also stole other sensitive documents, Secret Service lapel pins and the agent’s access keycard. A bag bearing the Secret Service insignia and some coins were also stolen but later recovered at a nearby school where they had been dumped.
“The Secret Service is very heavily involved and, citing national security, there’s very little we have on our side. It’s a very big deal,” the NYPD source claimed. “There’s data on there that’s highly sensitive. They’re scrambling like mad.”
The New York Post reported that the agent had been identified as Marie Argentieri. The vehicle from which the items were stolen was a motorcycle parked in her driveway.
“The U.S. Secret Service can confirm that an employee was the victim of a criminal act in which our Agency issued laptop computer was stolen,” the agency said in a statement Friday. “Secret Service-issued laptops contain multiple layers of security including full disk encryption and are not permitted to contain classified information. An investigation is ongoing and the Secret Service is withholding additional comment until the facts are gathered.”
Though the laptop was said not to hold any information pertaining to the White House or foreign leaders, there remained concerns that national security could still be compromised. Unfortunately, there was reportedly no way to trace or erase the contents of the laptop remotely.
The NYPD was reportedly assisting the Secret Service to recover the stolen laptop. It remained unclear if the theft had been targeted or was just a coincidence.
CNBC noted that the incident came on the heels of a pair of Secret Service agents receiving questions regarding “selfies” that were taken by them while guarding the president’s sleeping grandson, Donald Trump III, and a fence-jumping incident at the White House a week prior.
Hopefully whoever stole the laptop is unable to access any sensitive information on it and the computer will be quickly recovered by authorities. Following that, the next question should be why was such a sensitive laptop left outside in a vehicle and not under lock and key by the agent in charge of it?
Much as we respect the men and women of the Secret Service, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the agency is in need of some serious internal housekeeping efforts.
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