December 1st, 2009
07:23 AM ET
4 years ago

Congress calls for party crashers to testify

Congress calls for party crashers to testify.

Congress calls for party crashers to testify.

Washington (CNN) - The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee called Monday for the couple who crashed President Obama's state dinner last week and the head of Secret Service to testify at a Thursday hearing on the security breakdown at the White House event.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee chairman, announced that he wants to hear Tareq and Michaele Salahi, and Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, explain how the couple was able to get inside the White House and shake hands with President Obama without being on the guest list.

"This is a time for answers, recognition of security deficiencies past and present, and remedies to ensure the strength of the Secret Service and the safety of those under its protection," Thompson said in a statement. "This is not the time for political games or scapegoating to distract our attention from the careful oversight we must apply to the Secret Service and its mission. My confidence in the management of the Secret Service hangs in the balance." He called the incident a "slap in the face" to other Secret Service employees.

Internal investigations have indicated that the Secret Service didn't follow protocol at at least one security checkpoint.

UPDATE: The House Homeland Security Committee has also invited White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers to be a witness at their Thursday hearing at the request of committee Republicans. Rogers has yet to respond to the invitation.

Filed under: Congress • Homeland Security • White House
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