Washington (CNN)Lawmakers investigating allegations that two senior Secret Service agents drove drunk through an active bomb threat investigation at the White House hammered agency director Joe Clancy on Tuesday for his unwillingness to allow the agents working that night to testify.
Lawmakers grill Secret Service chief
"By refusing to allow the witnesses we invited to testify -- with first-hand knowledge of the incident -- Director Clancy is keeping Congress and the American public in the dark," House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said. "It is unclear why Director Clancy is choosing at the start of his tenure to be so unhelpful to Congress."
Lawmakers got their first public look at surveillance video of the March 4 incident showing the car hitting a barricade and driving through the bomb threat investigation. The video came from the Washington Metropolitan Police Department. Clancy has so far refused to release the Secret Service video to the committee.
When lawmakers asked why he wouldn't provide the committee with copies of available surveillance video, he cited the ongoing investigation by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general. However, he told lawmakers he would make the video available for viewing at their convenience.
Clancy also told lawmakers that the agency will now keep security footage around the White House complex for seven days instead of three days. The change comes after Clancy told lawmakers last week that some of the video from the March 4 incident may have been erased.
Lawmakers also criticized Clancy for not knowing about the incident until five days after it happened -- and then only after hearing about an anonymous email circulating through the agency.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the committee, read the email which said that the agent drove through crime scene tape after returning from a retirement party and "officers at the scene said they were both extremely intoxicated."
The email went on to say that "officers were going to arrest both of them but the ... watch commander said not to."
Cummings said the email led him to conclude "that we have an agency at war against itself."
"They are supposed to be guarding the President of the United States of America. We are better than that," he said. "We have to take advantage of this transformative moment. If we don't it could only get worse."