*"Pierson defended herself with bureaucratic phrases about “robust conversations” and “comprehensive reviews” and “the totality of the circumstances.” She sounded at times like a sheriff’s deputy reading police reports.
About the 2011 incident, she said: “The vehicle sped away and went westbound on Constitution, erratically driving and struck a lightpost in the area of 23rd and Constitution.”
About this month’s episode, she recounted: “They stepped momentarily into the East Room. Another officer rendered aid, and he was placed on the ground . . .”
But nobody rushed to render aid to Pierson. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) mocked the agency’s initial explanation that the seven shots fired at the White House in 2011 were backfires: “I’ve never heard a car backfire six to eight times, director, never.”
“I’ve heard car backfires,” Pierson ventured, attempting an argument about “sound attenuation.”
As problematic as her answers was her passionless delivery. “I don’t sense from you, Director Pierson, a sense of outrage,” observed Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). “A sense of mission that you want to reform and correct this cascading set of mistakes that led to, potentially, a catastrophe.”*