Vice President Kamala Harris' motorcade was involved in a minor accident on Monday but the Secret Service obscured the details in its records of the incident, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
"The Secret Service agent driving Harris in a sport utility vehicle struck the curb of a downtown tunnel hard enough that the vehicle's tire needed to be replaced, bringing the motorcade to a standstill near Foggy Bottom at about 10:20 a.m., said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share internal discussions," investigative correspondent Carol Leonnig learned.
"Harris had to be transferred to another vehicle in the motorcade so agents could safely spirit her to the White House," Leonnig explained. "The routine nature of the travel and the high level of training required for agents who drive the president and vice president led many in the Secret Service, as well as Harris, to question how such an accident could happen."
According to Leonnig's information, the Secret Service downplayed the crash as a "mechanical failure." Secret Service Director Kim Cheatle was informed about what happened on Monday afternoon. Leonnig noted, however, that "many other Secret Service agents on Harris's detail and at the White House, as well as Harris, knew her driver had actually hit the side pavement of a tunnel."
Kirsten Allen, a special assistant to Harris, said in an email that Harris "sustained no injuries and appreciates the quick response by her USSS detail to get her to the White House safely."
Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi stated that "a vehicle in a motorcade had a minor overcorrection and struck a curb" and that "the protectee was transferred to a secondary vehicle, and the motorcade continued to its destination. There were no injuries to anyone."
Leonnig also pointed out that Monday's skirmish was only the latest example of the Secret Service's "troubled history of covering up its own mistakes and misconduct, with the most senior leaders and managers often relying on the shroud of secrecy covering presidential security to cover up agency foibles and failures."