Biden appoints Kimberly Cheatle as head of the Secret Service

By Nikki Carvajal and Maegan Vazquez, CNN

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he is nominating Kimberly Cheatle as the next director of the United States Secret Service, a selection that comes at what administration officials acknowledge is a critical time for the federal intelligence agency. ‘law application.

Cheatle worked for the Secret Service for more than 25 years in numerous roles, including as part of the Vice Presidential Protection Division during Biden’s time as Vice President. She left the agency as Deputy Director of the Office of Protective Operations and is currently a Senior Director at PepsiCo North America.

“Jill and I know firsthand Kim’s commitment to her job and to the people and mission of the Secret Service. When Kim served in my security detail when I was vice president, we came to trust his judgment and his guidance,” Biden wrote in the statement. “She is a distinguished law enforcement professional with exceptional leadership skills, and was by far the best choice to lead the agency at a critical time for the Secret Service. She has my full trust and I looking forward to working with her.

Cheatle, who will succeed James Murray as director, is the second woman to be named head of the agency.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas welcomed Cheatle’s appointment.

“I am confident that his skills, combined with his fresh perspective, will enable the Secret Service to build on its strong foundation to grow and evolve into an even more effective agency,” said Mayorkas, whose agency oversees the services. secrets, in a press release. “I thank Director Cheatle for answering the call to return to public service and look forward to working together to defend the work of the United States Secret Service.”

Cheatle’s appointment comes after Murray announced in July that he would delay his planned retirement from the service as the agency faced demands from Congress and elsewhere to remove him from texting around Jan. 6, 2021.

CNN previously reported that the US Secret Service erased text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021 – the day before and the day of the uprising in Washington. The text messages at issue may have been deleted when the agency performed a data migration from the phones that began on January 27, 2021.

The personal cell phone numbers of US Secret Service agents have been provided to watchdogs investigating the insurgency.

Several watchdog agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, the National Archives, and the House January 6 Committee, are investigating or requesting more information about the USSS text messages. It’s not immediately clear if these officers’ personal cell phone numbers are linked to these requests.

And earlier this month, the trade association that defends federal law enforcement agents warned members of the Secret Service that their personal phone numbers that the agency recently released “will likely be used” in a criminal investigation.

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CNN’s Whitney Wild, Jamie Gangel and Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.