Lieberman: Secret Service scandal "just gets more troubling"

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., talks to Bob Schieffer about the Secret Service scandal on "Face the Nation," April 22, 2012.
CBS News/Mary Calvert

Updated 12:20 p.m. ET

(CBS News) As the Secret Service Colombian prostitution scandal expands, Senator Joe Lieberman, chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee said the additional details he learns are "troubling."

CBS News confirms that the twelfth agent put on administrative leave was staying at the president's hotel in Cartagena. 

On CBS News' "Face the Nation," Lieberman said the twelfth agent was not staying at Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, where eleven other Secret Service personnel stayed, but at the Hilton.

"The Hilton is significant because that's where President Obama was going to stay," Lieberman said. "Now we don't know at this point that what the twelfth agent is being charged with and why he's been put administrative leave."

"It just gets more troubling," Lieberman told host Bob Schieffer.

"To act as these people did in Cartagena as if they were college kids on spring break, it is reprehensible," Lieberman said.

Also on "Face the Nation," Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who sits on the House Homeland Security Committee, said the Secret Service leadership must act harshly.

"The cancer must be carved out," Jackson Lee said. "Frankly, I think there should be no tolerance, zero tolerance."

In response to a question by Schieffer about the possibility that White House staff might be involved in the scandal, Lieberman said he doesn't have any indication that the members of the Office of Advance is involved, he "would say they ought to be launching their own internal review of all white house personnel, advance teams and the rest, who were in Cartagena."

The consequences of the scandal expanded Friday as three more Secret Service personnel stepped down, bringing the number to six who have left or are in the process of leaving the agency. The number of Secret Service agents and uniformed personnel being investigated now totals twelve, while eleven members of the Department of Defense are also being investigated.

Lieberman said he continues to have confidence in Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan "at this point."

Three other members of Congress with oversight of the Secret Service who appeared on Sunday's "Face the Nation," joined Lieberman in support of Sullivan.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Sullivan "moved on this quickly. He got those agents out immediately, he suspended them initially. He took away their clearance. And now, six of them are gone.... But we've got to wait and see."

However, members of Congress are launching their own investigation.

Cummings said his committee is inquiring with the Department of Defense about its employees' role in the Colombian scandal. And Lieberman said his committee, which has oversight of the Secret Service, is focusing not on what happened in Cartagena but if the incident is a "an exception or a pattern of behavior."

"What I'm specifically going to be interested in is -- was what happened in Cartagena an exception or a pattern of behavior that happened over time elsewhere, and if it did, why didn't somebody at the secret service essentially bloat whistle on it? And what are they going to do now to make sure it never happens again," Lieberman said.

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