WASHINGTON--Rep. Peter King (R-NY), the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee said he will ask the panel on Wednesday to subpoena White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers to compel her to testify about the circumstances leading up to reality TV aspirants Tareq and Michaele Salahi crashing a state dinner and meeting President Obama at a reception. Meanwhile, King told me he saw Rogers at Monday's White House holiday party for members of Congress.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the committee chairman, will also be seeking subpoenas for the Salahis, a move backed by King. King is unlikely to muster the votes to force Rogers before Congress on the Democratic controlled panel. The White House barred her from testifying at a hearing last week on separation of powers grounds.
King told me he was open to a compromise. "I certainly am open to discussing alternatives with the White House," said King. For example, he said Rogers could be interviewed "At a setting where she is not testifying but meeting with certain members of the committee to explain what happened." King said there did not have to be cameras or sworn testimony.
Last week, Secret Service director Mark Sullivan testified that his officers failed to follow protocols and call their superiors and the social office personnel if people showed up not on the guest list. But left unanswered at the hearing was what happened at a planning meeting between the Secret Service and Rogers office where it was decided that a White House staffer would not be--as had been done in the past--posted at the entrance to check off names.
Meanwhile, King did just see Rogers: at the White House holiday party Monday night for members of Congress. She was on duty on the ground floor greeting guests, including King. And to get in the White House, King said, there was "more screening last night than we ever had."