The Secret Service agent who tackled an intruder inside the East Room of the White House was not even supposed to be there that night. The Washington Post revealed Tuesday that the agent who tackled Omar J. Gonzalez was off-duty, but happened to see the intruder. Nor was the first family entirely safe: The agent who tackled Gonzalez had seen the family depart via helicopter minutes earlier. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson also revealed that agents recognized Gonzalez on the same day he jumped the fence. During questioning by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Pierson said that officers observed Gonzalez for “some time” on Sept. 19, but they did not intervene before he made his way into the White House. A grand jury Tuesday indicted Gonzalez on three charges, including a federal offense of unlawfully entering a restricted building with a deadly weapon.
Just days before, in Atlanta, an armed security contractor with a criminal record was allowed on the elevator with the President. A background check had not been pulled on the man and violated Secret Service protocalls.