Secret Service agents and members of the U.S. military, brought as many as 21 women back to their hotel during their assignment to Colombia last week, a top senator briefed on the prostitution scandal said Tuesday.
With 11 Secret Service agents and 10 military servicemembers allegedly involved, the account raises the possibility that everyone accused of misconduct could have tried to sneak women back to their rooms.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the top Republican on the Senate homeland security committee, revealed the details after she was briefed for a half-hour Monday night by Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan. Collins said she learned that U.S. Marines, as well as the 11 Secret Service agents now on administrative leave, were allegedly involved.
“There are 11 agents involved. Twenty or 21 women foreign nationals were brought to the hotel, but allegedly Marines were involved with the rest,” Collins said in a statement.
Fox News has since learned that 10 members of the U.S. military were involved. They include five Army Special Forces personnel, two Marines, two members of a Navy ordnance disposal unit and one Air Force member.
All are accused of having women in their rooms — U.S. officials had gone door-to-door to see where the women were staying.
It was previously unclear how many women might have been involved in the incident that has brought international embarrassment upon the agencies tied up in the scandal. President Obama had traveled to Colombia for a series of meetings that were supposed to focus on trade and other pressing issues between the U.S. and its Latin American ally, but the scandal overshadowed those issues.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said Tuesday that Sullivan is seeking an independent investigation from the agency’s inspector general.
Collins said Sullivan is “rightly appalled by the agents’ actions and is pursuing a vigorous internal investigation.”
The senator also questioned whether the incident indicates “a problem with the culture of the Secret Service” and whether the men could have been compromised by their alleged behavior.
“Who were these women? Could they have been members of groups hostile to the United States? Could they have planted bugs, disabled weapons, or in any others jeopardized security of the president or our country?” she said, referring to questions she raised with Sullivan.
The Secret Service has already revoked the security clearances for the 11 agents accused of misconduct.
The military also may be broadening its internal probe into servicemembers. The Pentagon initially said five U.S. military servicemembers might have been engaged in misconduct, but that number has grown.
Obama said Sunday he would be “angry” if the allegations turn out to be true. Defense officials said Monday they, too, were “embarrassed” by the role of military personnel.
“I can speak for myself and … my fellow chiefs, we’re embarrassed by what occurred in Colombia,” Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a news conference. “Several of our members distracted the issue from what was a very important regional engagement for our president.”
“We let the boss down,” Dempsey said.
Fox News’ Justin Fishel contributed to this report.