Vice President Kamala Harris was involved in a minor car accident earlier this week, the Secret Service said Thursday, and the agency now says her vehicle struck a curb after initially reporting mechanical failure.
“During a protective maneuver Monday, a vehicle in a motorcade suffered a minor overcorrection and struck a curb,” Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement Thursday. “The victim was transferred to a secondary vehicle and the motorcade continued to its destination. No one was injured.”
Guglielmi also said, “Initial radio traffic indicated that this was a mechanical failure and it was communicated to agency management by personnel supporting the motorcade movement. After the protective movement was completed, management was verbally updated with additional pertinent facts that the vehicle struck a curb.”
The car crash involving the vice president and the subsequent discrepancy in how it was initially reported internally is the latest incident to put the agency under the spotlight this year and raise new questions about its transparency both internally and publicly.
The incident occurred on Harris’ regular route to work. Her spokeswoman, Kirsten Allen, said the vice president has “tremendous gratitude” for her Secret Service detail.
“The vice president sustained no injuries and appreciates the quick response of her USSS detail to get her safely to the White House,” Allen said.
The Washington Post first reported the discrepancy in the description of the incident and that it involved new Secret Service Director Kim Cheatle, who started in her post last month.
It’s the latest incident in a year that has seen the Secret Service under increased scrutiny.
In April, four Secret Service employees were placed on leave after being accused in a federal investigation of being duped by two men who claimed to be Department of Homeland Security agents.
A month later, two Secret Service agents were sent home from South Korea after an altercation with a taxi driver and two Korean nationals, just as Biden began his first Asia tour since taking office.
And in July, a member of the US Secret Service Counter Assault Team was detained by the Israeli National Police in Jerusalem after he allegedly assaulted a woman outside a bar.
The agents’ actions and the agency’s data storage have also been investigated by the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 riot at the US Capitol.
Over the past decade, the Secret Service has come under scrutiny for troubling security lapses and repeated misconduct among its ranks.
Before taller fences were installed around the White House during the Trump administration, agents had to repeatedly respond to people who had jumped onto the White House lawn.
During the Obama administration, parties at a state dinner prompted an investigation that found agents did not follow protocol at a security checkpoint. And 11 Secret Service members were involved in an investigation into whether several agents brought prostitutes back to their hotel in Colombia ahead of a presidential visit.
The Washington Post in 2014 also reported a number of security breaches after a man fired a semi-automatic rifle outside the White House at its facade, including that the Secret Service did not conduct a proper investigation until days after the incident.
This story has been updated with additional reporting.