House Republicans launch investigation into White House's handling of domestic abuse scandal

Pauline Gross
February 14, 2018

A congressional committee has opened an investigation into the security vetting of a top White House aide who resigned in disgrace last week over domestic abuse allegations, the panel's Republican chairman said on Wednesday (Feb 14).

"Come on, clearly we should all be condemning domestic violence and if a person who commits domestic violence gets into government then there is a breakdown in the system", he said.

In his letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Gowdy asked whether the FBI "played any role in the adjudications of Porter's interim and final clearances", and if so whether they were consistent with bureau policy.

Wray is declining to elaborate on what information was passed on to the White House.

"We do have jurisdiction over the security clearance process - I do not have jurisdiction over the president hires", Gowdy said.

The White House has repeatedly said no one in the West Wing was aware of the seriousness of the allegations against Porter until photos of one of his ex-wives sporting a black eye emerged last week.

The House Oversight Committee on Wednesday launched an investigation into how former White House staff secretary Rob Porter was allowed to handle classified information in the White House without being granted a full security clearance.

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It notes that FBI Director Christoper Wray appeared to contradict the White House on its timeline on the handling of the matter - and it wants to know "what information was available to the adjudicator of Porter's interim clearance at the time it was adjudicated; who adjudicated his clearance; and what derogatory information was subsequently made available to the White House on Porter, when, and to whom". Such a breakdown, Ryan said, needs to be "addressed". Fox News is told, however, that Kelly is not being pushed out.

When asked if Kelly could have been more transparent or truthful, [another White House] official wrote: "In this White House, it's simply not in our DNA".

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the committee had requested information about how Porter's employment and clearance were handled.

"The White House personnel security office, staffed by career officials, received information previous year in what they considered to be the final background investigation report in November", Sanders said.

A senior administration official told the AP that that number could be as high as two dozen.

Conway went on to say that "there's no question" that domestic violence "knows no demographic or geographic bounds", and she understands there is a stigma that surrounds these issues.

Other reports by GizPress

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