How Many Scandals Will It Take To Fire DEA Chief Michele Leonhart?
Yesterday DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart had to testify before members of Congress in regards to a series of illegal sex parties that DEA agents participated in. The sex parties took place in Columbia, and involved prostitutes that were paid for by cartels. According to Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Michele Leonhart ‘looked the other way’ and instead of punishing the parties involved, gave them ‘essentially a vacation.’ Per The Hill:
Both Republicans and Democrats took shots at Leonhart, with some calling for “new leadership” at the DEA. She’ll be back on Capitol Hill Wednesday testifying before what promises to be an equally hostile House Judiciary Committee hearing.
The Justice Department’s inspector general released a report on March 26, accusing DEA agents of participating in sex parties funded by the drug cartels they were supposed to be investigating.
The top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), called the sex scandal “deplorable.”
“The inspector general’s report details conduct that is deplorable for anyone, let alone law enforcement officials serving the United States of America,” Cummings said at the hearing.
To be fair, the sex parties occurred before Michele Leonhart took control of the DEA in 2010. With that being said, many of the DEA agents still work with the agency, and there were allegations at the hearing that not only is Michele Leonhart refusing to fire them, she has tried to protect some of them. Michele Leonhart fired back saying that she is offended by their conduct and behavior, and she is trying to ‘fix the system.’ Those are just empty words though, proven by the fact that not only are many of the DEA agents still on the job (none were ever fired, although at least one has retired), many of them received promotions. Per the Huffington Post:
At a hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart also admitted that “a number” of agents who were involved in prostitution were promoted between the time the incidents occurred and the time they were fully investigated. None of the DEA employees involved were fired.
Michele Leonhart will say whatever it takes to save her own backside, and to maintain ‘business as usual’ at the DEA. If she really wanted to ‘fix the system’ her agency would constantly be involved in scandals. The Drug Policy Alliance has started a petition calling for the termination of Michele Leonhart. You can sign it at this link here. Below is the language of the petition:
Recent revelations show that the DEA has been secretly tracking billions of U.S. phone calls for decades. And several agents were just accused of having sex parties with hired sex workers funded by drug cartels.
This is outrageous, and yet another example of how drug prohibition breeds corruption. It’s time to end the war on drugs and hold the DEA accountable for their actions.
DEA Chief Michele Leonhart has stood in the way of sensible drug policies for too long.
I urge you to fire Michele Leonhart and rein in the DEA.