Yesterday Secret Service Director Julia Pierson fielded questions from furious and skeptical lawmakers after a number of serious failures by the agency to properly protect the President. Pierson started her testimony by saying she "takes full responsibility" for the failures, especially the most recent incident of fence jumper Omar Gonzales making it all the way inside the White House, but failed to answer a number of questions.
Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy questioned Pierson on a shooting incident that occurred at the White House in 2011. Pierson failed to provide adequate answers as to why that incident was first classified as simply backfire from a car after agents drew their weapons, smelled gun powder and why it was left to a housekeeper to find broken glass and evidence of a shooting. Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez was eventually arrested for the shooting. More background:
A federal judge in Washington sentenced Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez on Monday.
Prosecutors had asked he spend 27 1/2 years in prison for the shooting. No one was injured, but prosecutors say Ortega-Hernandez hit the executive mansion about eight times and did nearly $100,000 in damage.
Ortega-Hernandez's lawyers argued he was suffering from extreme depression and mental stress at the time of the shooting and was under the misguided belief that Armageddon was coming. They asked for a 10-year sentence.
Gowdy asked Pierson to explain why a housekeeper was able to find evidence of a shooting while agents failed to search the premise. Pierson responded by saying the incident occurred at night and that "it's difficult to see at night."