Secret Service chief James Murray leaving agency

Secret Service Director James Murray is stepping down from his post as head of the storied protective service, according to a statement issued by the agency Thursday.

Murray, who has held the job since 2019, has been looking to retire “for some time” and plans to work in the private sector, according to a senior Department of Homeland Security official with knowledge of his decision.

He has accepted a top security job with the California-based social media company Snapchat, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share internal details. Murray, a 27-year veteran of the Secret Service, filled various top roles at the agency before he was named director in May 2019. His last day will be July 30, according to the statement.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that under Murray’s leadership the Secret Service has “reinforced its stature as the preeminent protective agency in the world and has increased in sophistication and scope its investigative capabilities.”

“I have benefited tremendously from the opportunity to rely on Director Murray as a trusted advisor and highly regarded leader in the Department of Homeland Security,” Mayorkas said in a statement.

Jan. 6 showed dueling identities of Secret Service agents: Gutsy heroes vs. Trump yes-men

A statement from the Secret Service said Murray “helped the agency navigate the unique challenges presented by the historic COVID-19 pandemic,” while continuing to perform “its integrated mission of providing protection to senior elected leaders and investigating crimes targeting our financial infrastructure.”

The Secret Service, best known for protecting current and former presidents and their families, has endured multiple controversies over the past decade, including a prostitution scandal, White House security missteps during the Obama administration and allegations of politicization under President Donald Trump.

In recent weeks, its agents have become central characters in the House Jan. 6 legislative committee investigation into the attack on the US Capitol.

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified last month that Trump lashed out at his protective detail on Jan. 6, 2021, when told he would not be allowed to join his supporters’ march toward the Capitol, at one point lunging for the steering wheel of the presidential vehicle.

This is a developing story.

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