Sen. Cotton Blocks Three Obama Ambassador Noms Due to Chaffetz Secret Service Scandal

Cortney O'Brien
|
Posted: Oct 06, 2015 10:10 AM
Sen. Cotton Blocks Three Obama Ambassador Noms Due to Chaffetz Secret Service Scandal

Until Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) gets answers about the Secret Service's snooping into his colleague Rep. Jason Chaffetz's (R-UT) personal information, President Obama will not be getting a few of his ambassador nominations through Congress.

Chaffetz, chairman of the Oversight Committee, who is challenging Kevin McCarthy for speaker of the House, was once denied a job in the Secret Service. He has since been one of the agency's biggest critics, especially in light of the string of incidents at the White House where agents failed to stop intruders from jumping the fence. In what has largely been seen as payback, the government agency accessed the congressman's personal information from a secret database and leaked it to the media.

Incensed by the Secret Service's treatment of Chaffetz, Cotton spoke on the Senate floor Monday explaining why he's taking action against the Obama administration:

"The gravity of this scandal hasn't thus far been met with appropriate action from the highest levels of the executive branch," Cotton said on the Senate floor. "Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson stated last week that he's 'confident U.S. Secret Service Director Joe Clancy will take appropriate action to hold accountable those who violated any laws or policies of this Department.' This response is woefully inadequate on multiple counts."

Cotton is halting the nominations of Cassandra Butts as ambassador to Bahamas, Azita Raji as ambassador to Sweden and Samuel Heins as ambassador to Norway. 

"The executive branch needs to take it much more seriously than they have," Cotton reemphasized on Fox News Tuesday morning. "There needs to be a criminal investigation."