Congressman Peter King had an awkward moment at the White House Monday night. Climbing the stairs in the East Wing to attend the President’s Holiday reception for Congress, the New York Republican bumped into White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers. The two exchanged pleasantries, never mentioning that King, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, is looking to subpoena Rogers to compel her to tell her role in the party crasher scandal.
Today King will press on with the subpoena, although he’s holding out little hope. “A good number of Democrats at the last hearing said she should testify but I don’t think they’ll vote against the White House and the committee chairman,” King said in an interview. The White House invoked separation of powers to prevent Rogers from testifying, a move that raised many eyebrows on the Hill, especially after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went all the way to federal court to try and force George W. Bush advisers Karl Rove, Josh Bolten and Harriet Miers to testify not too long ago. Instead, the committee heard from the head of the Secret Service. “I’m a pretty strong supporter of executive privilege. But this clearly doesn’t involve advice to the president on Afghanistan, health care – it’s not a policy issue,” King said. “It’s totally inappropriate.”
Two subpoenas sure to be issued today: Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the party crashers at President Obama’s first State Dinner. Though, their lawyer warned the Washington Post not to expect much dishing: they plan on pleading the fifth.
In the meantime, King was gratified to see the White House has learned its lesson. Representatives from the Social Secretary’s office armed with clipboards and guest lists checked IDs outside the gates and again inside the security booths for the Holiday Party. “There were more people there than for the D-Day invasion,” King laughed.