Top Secret Service officials ordered members of a unit responsible for patrolling the White House perimeter to abandon their posts over in 2011 to protect the assistant of the agency's director, the Washington Post reports. The assignment, known as Operation Moonlight, diverted agents to a rural area outside the southern Maryland town of La Plata, nearly an hour's drive from Washington. Agents were told that then-Director Mark Sullivan was concerned that his assistant was being harassed by her neighbor.
Two agents were sent twice a day, in the morning and the evening, to monitor the home of the assistant, Lisa Chopey. The trips began June 30, 2011, and extended through the summer before tapering off in August. The agents were members of a surveillance team code-named Prowler, which patrols the outskirts of the White House compound. The unit is also tasked with monitoring the southern side of the White House whenever crowds gather to watch the president and first family travel via motorcade or helicopter. Agents were concerned that Operation Moonlight increased security risks to the president.