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Secret Service sex scandal: Congressional hearing set for May 23

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
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Secret Service director Mark Sullivan arrives on Capitol Hill to testify before the House Homeland Security Committee …

The chairmen of the Senate and House Homeland Security Committees leading a probe of the Secret Service said on Sunday that the committee plans to hold a May 23 Congressional hearing on the prostitution scandal that rocked the agency in April.

Secret Service director Mark Sullivan and Charles Edwards, acting inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, will be present at the hearing, Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Joe Lieberman told CNN's "State of the Union."

Lieberman said the hearing will address three questions: "One, is the inspector general satisfied with the investigation of what happened at Cartagena that the Secret Service did? Secondly, were there indications before the Colombian scandal of behavior by Secret Service agents off duty, on assignment, that should have been a warning that this was coming? And then, third, what are you going to do, Director Sullivan, to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again?"

"This is really a heartbreaking incident, and really a dangerous incident," Lieberman added. "We really have got to make sure it never does happen again."

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Hotel El Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia, April 19, 2012. (Pedro Mendoza/AP)

But those looking for Sullivan to lose his job may be out of luck. Peter King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he believes the incident that implicated at least 12 Secret Service agents was isolated, and reiterated his support of Sullivan.

"I believe this was the exception," King said. "I don't believe it was tolerated. I have known Mark Sullivan for a number of years, and I just think the way he has carried out this investigation has been very forward, from what we've been able to--first of all, working closely with the Secret Service, but also using our own sources--it seems that everything that the Secret Service is saying about what happened is what happened as we compare it with other sources and the other information we're getting."

King also said he declined an offer to meet with the prostitute at the center of the scandal.

"My office got a call from the lawyer from the prostitute ... asking to come and meet with me in Washington," King said. "We're not going to do that. I think that would just add to a circus atmosphere."

King added: "This is a very, very outstanding agency, the Secret Service.  We have to not tear down their reputation while getting at the truth of what happened."

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