The Marines are being investigated by the Secret Service, USA Today said Monday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the case. Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie said the agency doesn't comment publicly on presidential protection.
Several Marines are also being investigated for comments made on social media about U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a leading critic of the military's policy on sexual assaults. Speier became a target of ridicule after she wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, complaining about a particular Facebook page where active duty Marines suggested female officers obtained their ranks by performing sex acts and posted lewd contrived images of some female soldiers.
The Capital Police are investigating threats and comments made about Speier but that agency, too, declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
Marine spokesman Capt. Eric Flanagan said several of the Marines have already been referred to their commanding officers for non-judicial punishment -- an act that could have a wide range of consequences from being made to rake leaves to demotion in rank or dismissal from the service.