Senior Congressional Democrat on Secret Service Director: 'This Lady Has to Go'
After sleeping on Secret Service Director Julia Pierson's testimony, Rep. Elijah Cummings, the most senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had a change of heart and is now calling for Pierson's resignation.
"The president is not well served…I think this lady has to go - Ms. Pierson," Cummings, D-Maryland, said during a radio interview with Roland Martin on NewsOneNow this morning. "There has to be drastic changes."
It appears that the latest news about an incident in Atlanta, where the president ended up on an elevator with a contractor who was convicted felon and who had concealed a firearm, was the final straw for Cummings.
"I'm convinced that she is not the person to lead that agency. My trust has eroded," Cummings later told Diane Rhem during another interview today on WAMU. "This is supposed to be the No. 1 protective agency in the world, guarding the most protected person in the world, the most protected house in the world. And it appears they are not doing a very good job."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she subscribes to Cummings' analysis that Pierson, should resign.
"I agree with his analysis, yes," Pelosi, D-Calif., said during a news conference today at the Capitol. "If that's what he is suggesting, I support his suggestion. But if you follow up and say, 'tell me why you think she should leave,' I don't have the knowledge that he has so I am subscribing to his superior judgment and knowledge on the subject."
After the hearing Tuesday, Cummings refused to call on Pierson to step down, saying, "the jury is still out," and that he didn't "think she should necessarily resign."
"I think that we are going to have to keep a very close watch on this agency," he said Tuesday following a closed-door executive session with Pierson.
But then news broke about the incident in Atlanta. Multiple sources indicated lawmakers are miffed it did not come up during the lengthy closed portion of the hearing.
"Unfortunately, the Secret Service director's appearance before Chairman [Darrell] Issa's Oversight & Government Reform Committee has created more questions than answers. Already, we have learned of a prior security breach in Atlanta that she failed to mention," House Speaker John Boehner wrote in a statement today. "The more we discover, the clearer it becomes that the Secret Service is beset by a culture of complacency and incompetence."
While Boehner did not explicitly call for Pierson's resignation, he added that "the president must make a swift determination on whether the agency is being well-served by its current leadership ."