Washington — The U.S. Secret Service is investigating how an intruder managed to enter the home of national security adviser Jake Sullivan in April without being detected by his security detail, the agency said Tuesday.
The incident occurred in late April, when an unknown man, apparently intoxicated, walked into Sullivan's home in Washington, D.C., around 3 a.m., a U.S. law enforcement official said. Sullivan confronted him and told him to leave. The Secret Service detail outside, which consisted of more than two people, was not aware of the intrusion until Sullivan told them. There were no signs of forced entry and the intruder is still at large.
The Washington Post first reported the intrusion, and said the man "appeared to be intoxicated and confused about where he was."
"Secret Service is examining a security incident that took place at a protectee site," the Secret Service said in a statement. "While the protectee was unharmed, we are taking this matter seriously and have opened a comprehensive mission assurance investigation to review all facets of what occurred. Any deviation from our protective protocols is unacceptable and if discovered, personnel will be held accountable."
Another law enforcement source said one of multiple agents assigned to Sullivan's house left for a bathroom break and was not on location when the intruder entered the house. The other agents and two black SUVs were parked in front. The front door was unlocked, the source said. Sullivan heard his front door open and left his upstairs bedroom to investigate, finding the intruder in the downstairs living room, the source said. The intruder left without incident.
The agency said it was conducting a "comprehensive review" and is making changes "to ensure additional security layers are in place" in the meantime. A law enforcement source says Sullivan's Secret Service detail is benched pending the investigation's outcome.
"This should not have happened. Absolutely not," said Thomas S. Warrick, director of the Future of DHS project and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. "And especially where there are hostile nation states targeting U.S. officials on U.S. soil."
As national security adviser, Sullivan is one of President Biden's closest and longest-serving aides, overseeing a broad portfolio of foreign policy issues.
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