Secret Service agents sent home from South Korea after 'off duty incident' local media said was a drunken fight

·2 min read
President Joe Biden surrounded by US Secret Service members
President Joe Biden, surrounded by members of the US Secret Service, makes a surprise walk down Barracks Row in Washington, DC, on January 25, 2022.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
  • The Secret Service sent two agents home after local media reported they were in a fight.

  • The agents were in Seoul, South Korea, preparing the ground for President Joe Biden to visit.

  • Local reports claimed an agent was involved in a drunken fight over a taxi.

US Secret Service agents were involved in an "off duty incident" in Seoul, South Korea, and sent home ahead of President Joe Biden's visit Friday, a spokesman for the agency told Insider.

Anthony Guglielmi, Chief of Communications for the Secret Service, in a statement said the incident involved two agents, and was being investigated as a potential violation of conduct policies.

The service gave few details — but local media in Seoul described the incident as a fight over a taxi fare, and said at least on agent had been drinking.

The Secret Service statement said the agency was "aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees which may constitute potential policy violations.

"The individuals will be immediately returned back to their post of duty and placed on administrative leave. There was no impact to the upcoming trip," it continued.

"We have very strict protocols and policies for all employees and we hold ourselves to the highest professional standards. Given this is an active administrative personnel matter, we are not in a position to comment further."

The statement follows reports in South Korean media that a member of Biden's advance security team had assaulted a Korean citizen in a drunken argument about a taxi outside a Seoul hotel.

A Secret Service source said that the incident had not resulted in an arrest or criminal charges.

The incident is the latest in a series of Secret Service scandals in recent years.

In 2017, an agent who was part of then Vice President Mike Pence's security detail was suspended after allegedly meeting a prostitute in a Maryland hotel.

It followed two high profile incidents during the Obama presidency, when agents were sent home in 2014 during a presidential trip to Amsterdam after getting drunk, and from Cartagena, Columbia, in 2012 after an argument with a prostitute.

Biden arrived in Seoul Friday as part of a five-day trip to strengthen alliances in the region amid the Ukraine conflict.

Read the original article on Business Insider