Heard on the Hill: Subpoenas for the Gatecrashers?

Posted November 30, 2009 at 6:30pm

Tareq and Michaele Salahi certainly didn’t get an invitation to the state dinner they crashed, but they have formally been issued another exclusive summons, this one without fancy engraved stationery. And the couple has a better reason to attend this gathering than a chance to schmooze with power players — they could be legally compelled to show up.

[IMGCAP(1)]The House Homeland Security Committee has graciously requested the Salahis’ attendance at a hearing on Thursday. And this time, they’re getting a prime seat: the witness table.

The committee is looking into the security breach that occurred when the social-climbing Virginia couple attended the White House event last week — and managed to meet and pose for pictures with both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden — despite not being on the guest list.

Committee spokesman Adam Comis says the couple has not yet RSVP-ed. But unlike most Washington hosts, Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) has powerful tools of persuasion to entice his guests to show up at the soiree … er, hearing. “If they decline, it is within the power of the committee to issue a subpoena,— Comis says. “We’re not sure we’re going to go down that road, but it’s a possibility.—

The Salahis reportedly have tried to sell their audacious tale to the highest bidder (something their publicist has reportedly denied), but if the committee has its way, it looks like the story could end up breaking on C-SPAN, not on a venue that will pay the party-crashers top dollar.

Rocking the Boat. It’s anchors aweigh for Greg Keeley, communications director for Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

The Australian-native-turned-U.S.-citizen is deploying to Afghanistan with the U.S. Navy. His tour will last about nine months, he tells HOH, most of which he expects to spend in Kandahar. Keeley, who served in the Australian navy before coming to Capitol Hill (he was previously a spokesman for California GOP Rep. Ed Royce) and joining the U.S. forces, says his work on military and homeland security issues prompted him to enlist.

“It’s all very well to sit here and write talking points and press releases … but if you’re doing that, it’s important to step up when you’re needed,— he tells HOH.

The Aussie says he’ll miss his hardworking colleagues — and the occasional glass of fine shiraz. “That might be the biggest deprivation,— he joked.

Walk Like a [Congress] Man. Don’t be surprised if you hear Rep. Michael McMahon humming “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You— around the Capitol on Wednesday.

The New York Democrat is scheduled to host a fundraiser tonight at the National Theatre performance of the musical “Jersey Boys,— which tells the story of the 1960s doo-wop-based rock group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. According to the invite, not only do attendees get to see the show, they will join the musical’s cast at a wrap party afterward.

McMahon, who boasts that he represents the largest number of Italian-Americans in the country, is a “big fan— of the band, spokeswoman Lauren Amendolara tells HOH. He also has a Congressional tie to the show: Renée Marino, who is an alumna of Wagner College in the Congressman’s district, plays one of the leads.

Democratic Rep. Jerry Costello (Ill.) is expected to attend the fundraiser. Tickets start at $750, according to the invitation.

Prince Charming. When Prince Albert II of Monaco, the son of the late Prince Rainier III and actress-turned-royal-Princess Grace, spoke at the National Press Club on Monday afternoon, there were plenty of signs that somebody of regal stature was in the room.

Suit-clad security guys wearing earpieces, for example. Then there were all the photographers snapping pictures (and excited royal watchers doing the same with their cell phones).

But as the soft-spoken Albert (full name: Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Grimaldi) spoke about his efforts to combat global warming, he came off as a pretty down-to-earth guy (well, for a prince.) And that was something noted by National Press Club President Donna Leinwand, who joked that Albert could be “fitting glass slippers— or “rescuing damsels in distress— rather than spending so much energy trying to stop climate change.

Albert’s rejoinder: “Where are those glass slippers?—

The prince noted he isn’t even the first Albert of Monaco to come to the press club to talk about the environment. The royal’s great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert I, spoke about conservation at a press club event at the Willard hotel in October 1913.

And Albert also briefly spoke about his mother, telling the audience that the Alfred Hitchcock classic “Rear Window— is his favorite movie in which she starred.

Overheard on the Hill. “Next time, the Louisiana senator needs a shirt, he might be wise to find a route that keeps him far from women’s lingerie.—

— A column in the New Orleans Times-Picayune in which a spokesman for Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) explained that his boss was merely looking for a shirt when an HOH tipster spotted him in the lingerie department of Filene’s Basement.

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