The ongoing Secret Service sex scandal isn't just undermining confidence in the organization among Washington insiders, it's also having a substantial impact outside the capital. "It adds another exclamation point [to the idea] that Washington is all screwed up," says Democratic pollster Geoff Garin.
Garin notes that Americans have lost faith in many of their institutions, and the scandal seems one more bit of evidence that another one is failing.
The Secret Service now says that three of its employees are leaving the agency in the continuing fallout from the scandal. One supervisor was allowed to retire, another supervisor is in the process of being fired, and a third employee has resigned.
The remaining eight Secret Service employees who are under investigation have been placed on administrative leave and have had their security clearances revoked, according to the Secret Service.
Investigators say as many as 11 agents and 10 members of the military allegedly consorted with prostitutes at their hotel in Cartegena, Colombia last week while preparing for President Obama's arrival at an international conference there. Members of Congress have raised concerns about security breaches, blackmail, and a lack of discipline as illustrated by the episode.