Washington (CNN)After spending about five hours at a bar and knocking back several drinks, two senior Secret Service agents got in a government-issued car, drove to the White House compound where they came "within inches" of a potential bomb under investigation, according to a new watchdog report.
Secret Service after party: 8 scotches, 2 vodkas, 1 wine, 3 beers
The two agents were "more than likely" intoxicated.
That's according to the conclusions of Inspector General report released Thursday that provides the most definitive account yet into the March incident that left two agents placed on paid administrative leave as conflicting versions of the incident swirled.
The incident was just the latest example of improper behavior by Secret Service agents, sending the agency's director to Capitol Hill for another round of tough questioning before the House oversight committee.
The report also raised questions about reporting at the agency, with Secret Service Director Joe Clancy only being informed of the incident five days later. And even before, none of the Secret Service officials involved formally reported the incident or mentioned the incident in written reports.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and the committee's top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland said Thursday in a statement they "continue to believe that a major cultural overhaul is essential to restoring the Secret Service to its former stature."
They called reporting issues signs of "a dysfunctional environment that must change."
"The Secret Service must swiftly ensure that the agents involved in the March 4 incident are held accountable for their actions. During this afternoon's hearing, we will examine the (inspector general's) report in greater detail and discuss other reform measures the Secret Service must undertake," the pair wrote.
Marc Connolly, a top member of the presidential protective detail and one of the two agents involved in the incident, told the agency this week that he will retire.
Connolly and George Ogilvie, the senior agent driving the vehicle the night of the incident, attended a two-hour, open-bar retirement party on March 4, but stayed for three more hours at the bar with two other Secret Service colleagues, according to the Homeland Security Department's Inspector General report.
It was then that Ogilvie opened a tab, buying "eight glasses of scotch, two vodka drinks, one glass of wine and three glasses of beer," the report said.
Ogilvie told investigators he drank two scotches from his tab on top of a beer during the open bar. Connolly said he had only two beers during the party, but said he didn't order an alcohol drink after Ogilvie opened the tab.
The two other Secret Service officials said they had three drinks from Ogilvie's tab -- leaving five scotch drinks, a glass of wine and three beers still unaccounted for. Ogilvie said he gave those away to others at the bar, but told investigators he couldn't recall whom he gave them to.
"None of these four individuals ... could recall what, or even whether, the others in their small group were drinking," the report says.
While the investigators couldn't conclude definitively that Connolly and Ogilvie were intoxicated, the report concluded that it was "more likely than not" that both agents' "judgment was impaired by alcohol" despite the agents denial that they drank excessively that night.
But the report weighed those denials against the fact that the agents had spent five hours at a bar, run up a long tab of drinks and that they had driven into a suspicious crime scene package unaware, noting that the agents "displayed poor judgment and a lack of situational awareness in driving onto the scene."
The report also homed in on the Secret Service officers at the White House compound who confronted Connolly and Ogilvie, with the report raising questions about Secret Service management, reporting and unclear agency rules governing drinking and driving a government vehicle.
The report revealed miscommunication between subordinates and supervisors after Ogilvie drove into a crime scene, coming inches of the suspicious package and pushed a safety barrel five feet with his car in an attempt to get past barriers and into the White House compound.
Uniformed Secret Service officers who questioned Ogilvie and Connolly said to investigators that they told the watch commander on duty that something was "not right" and the agents, who dodged the officers' questions, "were not making sense."
But they also told their superior that they didn't smell any alcohol and that neither agent appeared intoxicated.
Despite that, the watch commander told his superior that the officers on the ground believed the two agents "may be drunk" and smelled of alcohol. Conflicting media reports emerged after the news of the incident first came out in March about whether or not the two agents were intoxicated.
The watch commander soon arrived at the scene, where he noted that Connolly appeared intoxicated, noting he had a "flushed face, glazed eyes and his clothing slightly disheveled." He also observed that Ogilvie didn't seem intoxicated, though he had been drinking.
One Secret Service agent said the watch commander believed the two officers were "hammered," though the watch commander denies having ever said that.
Despite those observations, the watch commander let the officers pass through and go home without a sobriety test.
The commander allegedly told one officer that he didn't conduct a sobriety test because it would be a "career killer."
Connolly in the vehicle was also the watch commander's superior in the same chain of command.
Chaffetz and Cummings called that alleged statement "sadly revealing" of the Secret Service culture.
The watch commander said he believed Ogilvie would not drive home and instead stay at the White House or a nearby hotel, where other agents were staying because of incoming bad weather.
The incident is just the latest string in a series of agency scandals that have come to define the agency -- from the failure to stop a fence jumper from entering the White House that led the agency's previous director to resign to allegations that agents on the Presidents' detail drank excessively and hired prostitutes while abroad.