White House Dinner Gatecrashers Plan to Plead the Fifth
Congress has subpoenaed the gatecrashers who attended the White House dinner to appear on Capitol Hill about the security breach. But Michaele and Tareq Salahi say you won't hear a peep out of them.
The alleged gatecrashers plan to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to testify, the Associated Press reports.
The Homeland Security Committee voted to subpoena the couple to testify to answer questions about the Nov. 24 incident.
The Virginia couple said through their lawyer on that the House Homeland Security Committee has drawn premature conclusions the incident. They maintain that they were able to get into the White House dinner state dinner without being on an approved guest list.
As we previously discussed, the Reality TV hopefuls hobnobbed with President Barack Obama at his first state dinner.
Michaele Salahi is being considered as a participant in the upcoming "The Real Housewives of D.C." program and on the day of the dinner was being filmed by Half Yard Productions, the producer of the program.
Secret Service officials said they were not on the guest list and should have been barred from entering the event.
It is unclear what the purported gatecrashers told officers at the checkpoint that allowed them to go through the security screening.
Now, the couple may face possible charges for lying to federal officers. Federal law makes it a crime to knowingly and willfully falsify statements on matters within the federal government's jurisdiction.
They also could be charged with trespassing and other violations.
Virginia's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services also is investigating a charitable polo event the Salahis sponsor.
Critics say that if the couple is a no-show at the hearing they would be viewed as as modern-day versions of "Bonnie and Clyde".
The Secret Service is continuing a criminal investigation into the security breach; charges have yet to be referred for prosecution.
- White House Dinner Crashers: What Charges May Apply? (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Obamas' Uninvited Guests Prompt an Inquiry (The New York Times)
- Before Salahis, There Were Plenty of Other Gate Crashers (Newser)
- What should I do if I receive a subpoena? (FindLaw)
- U.S. Constitution: Fifth Amendment (FindLaw)