Washington (CNN) - In what one member of Congress called "a charade," a couple that showed up at President Obama's first state dinner - uninvited, the White House claims - declined to answer questions surrounding the event before a House committee Wednesday.
Under questioning from House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, and others, Tareq Salahi repeated over and over again, "On the advice of counsel, I respectfully assert my right to remain silent and decline to answer your question."
The Salahis' attorney notified the committee in December that because of a pending investigation by federal prosecutors, they would not answer questions about how they gained entry to the White House on November 24, despite not being on the guest list to attend that night's state dinner for the prime minister of India.
In a brief statement that opened the often-contentious hearing, Salahi chastised the committee for requiring the couple to appear despite having been told the two would invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if subpoenaed. That, he alleged, is against the ethical rules of the Washington bar.
He incensed some committee members by reiterating the couple's respect for U.S. troops, the Secret Service and the president.
Why are we wasting time and $$$ on this? The social secty and CIA screwed up......they just took advantage of the incompetence....
The White House needs to stand up to these two rebels and make them a PUBLIC EXAMPLE once and for all.
They know that they shouldn't have been there when they didn't have actual tickets in their hands. They should be fined enough to cover the Congressional hearings and the Secret Service investigations. I don't know how they didn't bother to verify if they could go given that it was to the White House.
What else are they gonna do? How about some reporting on some other options the Dems have to counter this right-wing guys vote. Howard Dean has the best ideas!
Mr. Salahi when some democratic committee member tells you that you are in contempt of Congress...reply by saying you have nothing but contempt for this congress!
They were wrong and they should be punished. End of story.
Send them both to gitmo.
Well no kidding! Did you actually think he would tell the truth??????
So now, they have nothing to say! What are they hiding? Maybe if Congress paid them they would talk!
This story is pretty silly already . . . though I must say that Mrs. Salahi is a HOTTIE – she can crash my parties any time!
The problem is NOT the crashers, but the people who let them in! They are the ones who should be up for questioning and then firing!
No invitation? Got in illegally? Arrest them and put themin jail. They will talk quickly.
This was a breach of national security. treat it as such if they will not cooperate.
lock them up . couple of jerks .
They really aren't taking this very seriously. I hope they receive the harshest possible punishment after the dust settles.
Of course they do. They are typical lying cheating democrats who think only of themselves.
Ok folks lick your wounds...learn from this and move on. Wsting time and money on this is absurd...somebody just didn't do their job.
They should be in jail!
It just seems the Dems are not getting any RESPECT
They're all Obama's friends. This is an injustice for the Secret Service to have been fired. Impeach Obama instead. There is no telling what secrets he is giving away to people we don't need hearing them. Impeach this animal.
IF THEY DON'T WANT TO TALK, PUT THEIR BUTTS IN JAIL UNTIL THEY DO.
END OF DISCUSSION
These party craches are something else? They crash the party and now they claim they are the victoms.
And what if they are telling the truth and did have an invitation? What then? If they did not have one then they are simply seeking to draw attention to themselves but it is such a stupid egocentric thing to do. I really think the BIG mystery here is only the one that
And what if they are telling the truth and did have an invitation? What then? If they did not have one then they are simply seeking to draw attention to themselves but it is such a stupid egocentric thing to do. I really think the BIG mystery here is
only the one that this couple is trying to create.