Kamala Harris was involved in a motorcade accident. Anthony Guglielmi, who is a spokesperson for the Secret Service, said that the incident was initially reported to the agency’s leaders as a “mechanical failure.”
Sources familiar with the incident said that Harris was on her way to work at the White House in her motorcade when a Secret Service agent that was driving Harris in an SUV struck the curb of a downtown tunnel. The hit was hard enough that the vehicle’s tire had to be replaced. The incident brought the motorcade to a standstill near Foggy Bottom.
The same sources also said that a stopped motorcade is to be considered a situation of concern, “a big no-no for us.” For that reason, Vice President Kamala Harris was quickly moved to the replacement vehicle. After the motorcade got to the White House, Harris was checked out by the medical office to make sure she didn’t suffer any injuries of any kind and was OK. The sources added that Harris’ previous vehicle had been traveling at a high speed on city streets, estimated to be at up to 50 mph.
According to Guglielmi, the agents didn’t initially share full details of what caused the problem but later briefed their superiors in person. “During a protective movement, a vehicle in a motorcade had a minor overcorrection and struck a curb,” Guglielmi said. “The protectee [Harris] was transferred to a secondary vehicle and the motorcade continued to its destination. There were no injuries to anyone,” he stated. Guglielmi also said that “after the protective movement was completed, leadership was verbally updated with additional pertinent facts that the vehicle struck a curb.”
The incident was confirmed later in the day by Harris’ press secretary, Kirsten Allen. “The Vice President sustained no injuries and appreciates the quick response by her USSS detail to get her to the White House safely,” said Allen in a statement, per Yahoo News.
Guglielmi said there would be no disciplinary action after the motorcade incident, stating that “We are proud of the detail. How they handled this was exactly as they should.” When asked about previous instances that have put the Secret Service in the spotlight, Guglielmi said: “This is not a misconduct issue at all.”
The Secret Service has been under heavy criticism recently. This miscommunication on the part of the agency only helps to exacerbate how poorly it has handled internal communications in the past. This was an incident that concerned both the Secret Service director and the vice president, which also revived worries about the agency’s history of concealing its mistakes.
With accusations that the agency apparently had deleted many text messages regarding the January 6 riot at the Capitol last year, the agency has been under scrutiny and losing the trust of the American people. The allegedly deleted text messages belonged to 24 cellphones of agents that were confiscated by senior leaders at the Secret Service after the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general launched a probe into the riot.