Washington (CNN) – White House social secretary Desiree Rogers will not by testifying at Thursday's congressional hearing about the recent White House security breach, Robert Gibbs said Wednesday.
"Obviously there's an ongoing assessment and investigation by the Secret Service" into the breach that occurred during the Obama administration's first state dinner, the White House press secretary told reporters in his daily briefing, "We are working with and ready to work with anybody that has questions on that."
But, Gibbs added, "based on separation of powers, staff here don't go to testify in front of Congress. She will not be testifying in front Congress tomorrow."
In a break from the practice that the White House used on the night of the state dinner, Gibbs said that the White House had its own staff in place at a security check point Tuesday evening when visitors came to the White House campus for a holiday gathering.
Gibbs also told reporters Wednesday that no concerns about Rogers' performance had been raised with the president prior to the controversy surrounding the breach at the state dinner. The White House social office, which is run by Rogers, has done "remarkable work" in planning events at the White House. "The first family is quite pleased with her performance," said Gibbs.
The House Committee on Homeland Security is set to hold a hearing Thursday about how a married couple who were not on the official list of attendees managed to get past White House security into the state dinner.
As of Wednesday, the couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, have declined the committee's invitation to testify, according to the committee's chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson.
Mark Sullivan, the director of the Secret Service, has agreed to testify, according to the committee. In a statement issued soon after the breach came to light, Sullivan said the Secret Service was "deeply concerned and embarrassed" by the circumstances surrounding the state dinner.
During the previous administration, Bush aides Karl Rove and Harriet Miers tried to resist calls from Congress to testify about the firing of several U.S. attorneys. At the time, the Bush administration relied on separation of powers, the idea that the Executive branch headed by the president and Congress are co-equal branches of government who cannot compel one another to act, and on executive privilege, the idea that the advice the president receives from his aides is confidential, to try to avoid responding to congressional subpoenas for testimony. After litigation to enforce the congressional subpoenas and after former President George W. Bush was no longer in office, Rove and Miers both ultimately gave depositions to investigators looking into the firings.