SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Two U.S. Secret Service employees in South Korea to prepare for President Joe Biden’s visit have been sent home after being involved in a confrontation with locals that led to a police investigation.
An agent and an armed physical security specialist were involved in the alcohol-fueled incident that included a heated argument with a taxi driver and led to local law enforcement filing a police report, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to comment publicly. Other witnesses also lodged complaints about the federal law enforcement officers' behavior,
One of the employees was investigated by local police, but no charges were filed. The Secret Service is conducting its own investigation.
“The Secret Service is aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees which may constitute potential policy violations,” spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said. He added that the incident had “no impact” to the president's trip.
Both Secret Service employees were put on a plane to return to their home duty stations hours before Biden arrived in Seoul on Friday to open his visit to South Korea and Japan.
"We have very strict protocols and policies for all employees and we hold ourselves to the highest professional standards," Guglielmi said.
Biden on Friday evening toured a Samsung semiconductor chip plant near Seoul. He also met South Korea’s new president, Yoon Suk Yeol.
Superville reported from Washington.