Holder to DOJ: Don’t solicit prostitutes

By Jesse Byrnes, The Hill Attorney General Eric Holder is reminding staff members that the Department of Justice (DOJ) bars its employees from soliciting prostitutes even in countries where selling sex is legal. “I want to reiterate to all Department personnel, including attorneys and law enforcement officers, that they are prohibited from soliciting, procuring, or accepting commercial sex,” Holder wrote in a Department of Justice memo to personnel dated Friday and obtained by The Washington Post. Holder said that soliciting prostitution “threatens the core mission of the Department,” noting it could invite “extortion, blackmail, and leaks of sensitive or classified information.” The memo comes after a DOJ Office of Inspector General report released late last month found that agents under the DOJ with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had participated in “sex parties” believed to be in Colombia between 2005-2008. It is believed that prostitutes attended the parties and were paid by drug cartels. Seven of the 10 agents implicated in the incident admitted to attending the parties, the report said. “A foreign officer also alleged providing protection for the DEA agents’ weapons and property during the parties,” the report said. “The foreign officers further alleged that in addition to soliciting prostitutes, three DEA [Supervisory Special Agents] in particular were provided money, expensive gifts, and weapons from drug cartel members.” Holder said soliciting prostitutes undermined department efforts “to eradicate the scourge of human trafficking” and warned that those found to have violated the department rule would face “suspension or termination.” The administrator of the DEA, Michele Leonhart, is slated to appear before the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday to speak on the allegations in the watchdog report, The Washington Post noted.

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