White House Social Secretary and Gatecrashers Will Not Testify at Hearing
Although party crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi have refused to testify at a White House security hearing, they may be subpoenaed anyway.
-Margeaux Baulch Klein
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are anxious to find out how it was exactly that reality TV-wannabes Tareq and Michaele Salahi were able to sail past security checkpoints and sneak into the White House state dinner last month. However, the publicist for the fame-seeking party crashers said in a statement on Wednesday evening that the couple will not testify at the Homeland Security Hearing to discuss the breech.
According to their rep Mahogany Jones, the Salahis believe “there is nothing further that they can do to assist Congress in its inquiry regarding White House protocol and certain security procedures. They therefore respectfully decline to testify.”
However, this statement did not sit well with Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson who fired back with a statement of his own:
“The Salahis’ testimony is important to explain how a couple circumvented layers of security at the White House on the evening of a state dinner without causing alarm,” he said.
“[The committee] must understand the full scope of what went so terribly wrong … to ensure that security gaps are sealed. This can only be achieved by hearing both sides of the matter… If the Salahis are absent from tomorrow’s hearing, the committee is prepared to move forward with subpoenas to compel their appearance,” he added.
The White House has also refused to send Social Secretary Desiree Rogers, who has been criticized for not posting a staffer at the entrance to the East Wing, to the hearing as well, citing separation of powers. (Huffington Post)