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Senator Chuck Grassley is not satisfied that the White House has been fully forthcoming with details about White House involvement in the Columbia Secret Service Prostitution Scandal, and he is asking the White House Counsel for more information.
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told the press corps that he saw no need for an internal review of any White House involvement. At a later briefing, Carney said that an internal review was performed over the weekend and that no indication of any misconduct by the White House advance staff was found. But he didn’t provide any details of the investigation or explain the methodology that was used, and that wasn’t good enough for Senator Grassley.
Grassley said that questions should be answered publicly in order for the White House to set the record straight that the internal investigation was complete and thorough. So Grassley fired off a letter to Assistant to the President and White House counsel, Kathryn H. Ruemmler in which he says:
“…I read the comments today by White House press secretary Jay Carney regarding the ongoing investigation into the recent events surrounding the recall of 11 Secret Service agents from Colombia. On Friday evening I questioned Director Sullivan of the Secret Service and Acting Inspector General Edwards at the Department of Homeland Security about whether any members of the White House Communications Agency and/or White House Office of Advance (“White House advance staff”) had overnight guests while in Colombia. At this time I am awaiting Director Sullivan’s full response to all my questions…[I]t was announced by Mr. Carney that over the weekend the White House Counsel’s Office reviewed the matter and concluded that there was “no indication of any misconduct” by White House advance staff. This came after Mr. Carney was questioned on Friday about the potential need for an internal review of the White House advance staff. Mr. Carney answered the question by assuring the White House press that, “I have no reason, as I said yesterday, to believe that there is a need for that.” Further, … Mr. Carney refused to provide details of the review conducted by the White House Counsel’s Office…”
Grassley wants specifics from the White House per the following:
1) Provide a detailed overview on what led the White House Counsel’s Office to conduct the weekend review? Was there any thought given to having an independent review? If not, please explain why not.
2) How many individuals in the White House Counsel’s Office were involved in this weekend review?
3) How many total hours were spent on the weekend review?
4) Was the review coordinated in any way with the Department of Defense to the extent that it covered military employees of the White House Communications Agency (WHCA)?
5) Were civilian employees of WHCA also examined?
6) How many White House advance staff were in Colombia prior to the President’s arrival?
7) How long before the President’s arrival where the White House advance staff present?
8 ) How many additional White House staff arrived with the President?
9) Did the White House Counsel’s Office review hotel records regarding overnight guests for all White House advance staff as well as additional White House Staff who arrived with the President (“other White House staff”) in Cartegena, Colombia? If so, for what time frame were records reviewed?
10) How many White House advance staff had overnight guests?
11) How many other White House staff had overnight guests?
12) If there were overnight guests, did any White House advance staff or other White House staff with overnight guests pay additional room charges as a result?
13) Did the White House Counsel’s Office interview all White House advance staff and other White House staff? If not, why not?
14) Please provide a detailed overview of all the steps the White House Counsel’s Office took to investigate this matter.
The Senator gave the White House three days to respond. Previously the Senator had asked the White House very direct questions about the Columbia Scandal. (See that Interrogatory HERE)…
Wouldn’t you just love to include some of your questions about this to the White House? What might those questions be?