A spokesman for the Secret Service said, the agency is reviewing whether a criminal investigation is warranted into how Tareq and Michaele Salahi got past security to crash a state dinner at the White House.
Investigators “are interviewing everybody,” the spokesman, Jim Mackin, said. “Due to the fact that this could potentially become a criminal investigation, we’re a little reluctant to say anything more at this point.”
Tareq and Michaele Salahi managed to get through security checkpoints at the White House along with other guests at the Nov. 24 state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Michaele Salahi posted photos of the couple posing with Vice President Joe Biden and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as well as other guests on her Facebook page, Bloomberg reports.
Meanwhile, in photos posted on Facebook, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, of Virginia, rub shoulders and beam smiles with partygoers and the powerful, including Vice President Biden. The Salahis also are shown posing with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, CBS anchor Katie Couric, and three Marines in dress blue uniforms.
The story of the unwanted dinner guests was first reported byThe Washington Post. The Salahis were not on the list of those invited to the dinner Tuesday in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife, Gursharan Kaur, Donovan said.
About 320 people attended the party and dinner, which was served in a heated tent on the South Lawn of the White House, USA Today reports.
Edwin Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman, said Thursday the agency doesn't discuss the levels of security screening at the White House.
Donovan had said earlier that the Salahis went through the same security screening for weapons as the 300-plus people invited to Tuesday's dinner.
Meanwhile, Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., has called for a congressional hearing into the "shocking breach of security" at the White House dinner.
"As ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Secret Service, I am calling for a full investigation of how this shocking breach of security was allowed to happen and what is being done to make that it never happens again," King said in a statement released Friday, FOXNews reports.
In a weary world of endless US military interventions, sanctions, trade tariffs and chaos, let’s pause and take stock of the shining house on the hill