June 3, 2023

The Secret Service said it was investigating how an intruder was able to break into the home of President Biden’s national security adviser last month, even though a full security detail was posted outside.

Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, was not harmed during the breach, agency spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement Tuesday, adding that the identity of the intruder remained unknown.

Mr. Sullivan, 46, lives in Washington’s West End neighborhood with his wife, Margaret Goodlander, deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s antitrust division. The person entered Mr. Sullivan’s home at 3 a.m. on April 29, the Secret Service said.

Mr Sullivan noticed the intruder – a man who appeared to be drunk – and told him to leave, according to people familiar with the episode and spoke on condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation. The intruder left and Mr. Sullivan alerted the Secret Service agents stationed outside. Officials are investigating whether the break-in was an accident or whether the intruder had criminal intent.

“Any deviation from our protective protocols is unacceptable and if discovered, staff will be held accountable,” said Mr Guglielmi. “Changes have also been made to the protective stance to ensure additional layers of security are in place as we conduct this comprehensive review.”

The Washington Post first reported the episode. The White House declined to comment.

Mr. Sullivan served as Mr. Biden’s national security adviser when he was vice president during the Obama administration and as Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff when she was secretary of state.

The Secret Service, which is tasked with protecting the president, senior government officials and former presidents, has previously been criticized for its protective security details. In September 2014, an intruder broke into the White House, and a review found that the man who made the breach, Omar Gonzalez, was able to climb the fence and enter the mansion due to a series of “performance, organizational, technical” and other Secret Service failures.

Adam Entus And Michael D. Shave reporting contributed.