Computer containing sensitive security information was still missing Friday afternoon.
By Kenneth P. Vogel and Josh Dawsey
A Secret Service computer containing sensitive security information about Trump Tower was stolen from an agent’s vehicle in New York on Thursday, along with a set of security perimeter pins, a personal laptop, and other items, federal and New York City law enforcement sources told POLITICO.
The Secret Service laptop, which contained information about the layout and evacuation routes in Trump Tower, was still missing as of Friday afternoon, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation.
Two of the sources said that some items stolen from the vehicle — including a set of lapel pins that allow agents entry into security perimeters around dignitaries protected by the Secret Service — had been recovered in the vicinity soon after the break-in.
One person who is in contact with the Secret Service said that an agency-issued radio used for secure closed-circuit communications also was among the stolen items, but the person did not know whether it had been recovered.
The Secret Service declined to comment on the pins or the radio.
But, in a statement, the agency said that it is investigating the laptop theft with help from the New York City Police Department. The statement stressed that agency-issued laptops “contain multiple layers of security including full disk encryption” that prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing their contents.
A law enforcement official who has worked with the Secret Service said that, in order to access agency computers, users need an authorized electronic identity card and at least two different passwords.
The closed-circuit agency radios are encrypted, said the person who is in contact with the Secret Service. Nonetheless, the incident provoked alarm among law enforcement officials.
One official characterized as highly sensitive the information on the laptop about the physical layout of Trump Tower, where President Donald Trump’s family maintains a residence and the Trump Organization and campaign maintain offices.
The official said the theft of the laptop feeds the perception that that there’s a “culture of complacency among the agents as to the gravitas of the mission.”
The missing laptop is the latest embarrassment for the agency, after recent revelations about an intruder who managed to jump the White House fence and evade apprehension for 15 minutes, as well as an investigation into two agents who reportedly are under investigation for taking photos with Trump’s sleeping grandson.