The White House still won’t give details on its internal review of the White House advance team following the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia.
White House press secretary Jay Carney declined today to respond to a letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley in which the Iowa Republican asked for more information about the internal review conducted by the White House counsel’s office.
Carney reiterated that there has been no credible allegation of misconduct by any members of the White House staff.
“I know that there’s a letter. I haven’t seen it, so I don’t have any specific response to that,” Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One. “I would just point you to the fact that there is no credible, specific allegation of any misconduct by anybody on the White House advance team or White House staff. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution and with due diligence, the White House Counsel oversaw a review of the personnel on the White House advance team, and there’s no indication of any misconduct.”
In his letter, Grassley cited what he said were conflicting statements by Carney, who told reporters Friday that a review of White House personnel on the trip was likely unnecessary and then announced Monday that the White House counsel’s office had reviewed the matter and found “no indication” of any misconduct by White House advance staff.
“At the beginning of his administration President [Barack] Obama released a memorandum entitled ‘Transparency and Open Government’ and stated, ‘My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government,’” Grassley wrote. “However, declining to provide details of the internal review conducted over the weekend contradicts that goal set by President Obama.”
Grassley, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, asked 14 questions about the review, including whether hotel records were checked and if any White House personnel had overnight guests. Grassley asked the White House to answer his questions by Thursday.
The Department of Defense and the Secret Service are continuing to investigate the incident which occurred before Obama travelled to Cartagena, Colombia, for a summit with Western Hemisphere leaders.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.