New details have emerged about Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the couple of state dinner crashers.
The rain may have helped the Salahis to sneak past security.
Sources tell ABC News the leading theory in the ongoing Secret Service investigation is that officers at the initial White House checkpoint waived the couple in, assuming that their names would be checked against a guest list at the next one.
ABC News cameras first spotted the Salahis arriving at the White House with a Bravo Network TV crew in tow around 7 p.m. ET on Nov. 24.
The couple proceeded through the first checkpoint and continued several hundred yards to a second screening station, where their names should have been checked but apparently were not. The Secret Service says here the Salahis went through a metal detector and were checked for weapons, ABC News reports.
In the meantime, the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on Dec. 3 to investigate how an uninvited couple slipped past security at last week’s state dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Among those requested to testify are the couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi of Virginia, and U.S. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, according to a press release from the panel.
“This is a time for answers, recognition of security deficiencies past and present, and remedies to ensure the strength of the Secret Service and the safety of those under its protection,” said Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who is chairman of the committee, in a statement.
The Secret Service is investigating the breach, which Sullivan said “deeply concerned and embarrassed” the agency. Agents failed to follow procedures that should have prevented the man and woman from crashing the event, he said, Bloomberg reports.
News agencies also report, the couple's ability to gain access to the White House was a colossal breakdown of security and staffing procedures.
A White House state dinner is the “Super Bowl” of White House events. It is the social event of the season and the focus should to be on the honored guests, not those who should never have even been there, FOXNews reports.
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