Biden appoints Secret Service veteran Kim Cheatle as new agency director : NPR

Close-up of the Secret Service vest
Close-up of the Secret Service vest

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Wednesday named Kim Cheatle, a veteran Secret Service official, as the agency’s next director as the agency faces controversy over the loss of messages over a period of time. thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump then stormed the US Capitol.

Cheatle, who left the Secret Service in 2021 to serve as chief security officer at PepsiCo, runs multiple congressional committees and the Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog that is investigating the messages. documents were lost, which the Secret Service said was purged during that time. a technological transition.

Cheatle served in the Secret Service for 27 years and was the first woman to be appointed assistant director of protective operations, the department that provides protection to the president and other dignitaries.

Cheatle catered to Biden’s defense detail when he was vice president. During that time, Biden “trusted” her judgment and advice, he said in a statement.

Biden said that she and first lady Jill Biden “know well Kim’s commitment to her job and to the people and mission of the Secret Service.”

Cheatle replaces James Murray, who announced his retirement to take up a position at Snap, the social media company best known for its Snapchat app. Last month, he announced he would postpone his retirement amid ongoing investigations while Biden searches for a new director.

The Secret Service has faced growing criticism after admitting that text messages from around the time of the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol were deleted.

The agency said the messages were deleted when their phones were switched to the new system in the weeks following the 2021 attacks. Representative Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., a member of the House committee investigating the attack, said the Secret Service told the committee it left it up to agents to decide what electronic records to keep and what to delete during processing. .

The committee has renewed its recent interest in the Secret Service following the dramatic testimony of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson about Trump’s actions on the day of the uprising.

The Secret Service said all procedures were followed and pledged to “cooperate fully” with all reviews and investigations, including a criminal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general. Inland.

Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Cheatle “is a veteran of law enforcement and served as the first female assistant director of all security operations for the agency before retiring.”

“We are delighted to welcome her back as the next Director of the United States Secret Service,” he said in a tweet.

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