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U.S. Secret Service Director James Murray to retire

Secret Service Director James Murray speaks in Laurel, Maryland, on September 12, 2019. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Washington — U.S. Secret Service Director James M. Murray will retire from his post at the end of the month, after a 32-year career in the federal government and three years at the helm of the agency. 

The 27-year veteran of the Secret Service has served as the agency's chief executive since May 1, 2019, overseeing the agency through a record-breaking 42 protective details deployed during the Trump administration, a presidential campaign and the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to navigating a series of controversies.

Murray's departure comes amid continuing questions about an alleged altercation between former President Donald Trump and his security detail ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol, detailed in explosive congressional testimony by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson last week. 

Hutchinson testified that she was told Trump lunged at a Secret Service agent and tried to grab the wheel of his vehicle when agents refused to drive him to the Capitol. However, a source close to the Secret Service told CBS News that the two agents who were in the vehicle are prepared to contradict Hutchinson's account under oath.

Earlier this year, four Secret Service officials were suspended after allegedly being duped by two men accused by U.S. prosecutors of posing as federal law enforcement.

But the Secret Service veteran's exit has been in the works for months, according to a source familiar with his next steps.

"Since the Spring of 2019, Director Murray successfully guided the agency through eight National Special Security Events and nearly 20,000 international and domestic protective operations," the agency said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. "During that time, the agency also recovered approximately $4.2 [billion] in fraud loss and prevented an estimated $8.1 [billion] in additional losses at the hands of criminal enterprise."

"I have benefited tremendously from the opportunity to rely on Director Murray as a trusted advisor and highly regarded leader in the Department of Homeland Security," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, whose department oversees the U.S. Secret Service, said in a statement. "I am grateful for his counsel, judgment, and steady hand through a myriad of challenges we have faced."

The New Jersey native first began his career in the federal service in 1990 as an investigator with the U.S. Department of Transportation, while also serving as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. Murray entered the Secret Service in 1995, joining the New York Field Office as a special agent investigating cyber-enabled financial crimes and liaison to the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Since joining the agency nearly three decades ago, Murray has rotated through the agency's ranks in offices in Washington, D.C. and Atlantic City, New Jersey. He formerly served as assistant to the special agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division, the team charged with safeguarding the president and his motorcade. During his time at U.S. Secret Service, the agency has seen a transformation. No longer tasked with just safeguarding the president, first family and White House, the agency's mission has grown to accommodate an ever-expanding list of threats, including cyberattacks and terrorist plots. 

Murray's last day in federal service will be July 30, 2022. He plans to join social media company Snap Inc. in the coming weeks, according to the source.

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