In addition to a report detailing a secret meeting that Sarah Sanders orchestrated between Rob Porter and several reporters, the domestic abuse scandal currently plaguing the White House took another sharp turn thanks to FBI Director Christopher Wray. During his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, Wray inadvertently contradicted the White House’s own timeline regarding its foreknowledge (or lack thereof) of the allegations made against Porter by his two ex-wives. And to make matters worse, the New York Times notes that Wray’s testimony reveals a significant gap.
Wray’s revelation came about when Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) asked about Porter’s interview process with the FBI, a measure required since the former White House staffer had tried and failed to seek security clearance. The FBI director said he couldn’t “get into the content” of the matter, but he did offer significant new bits regarding the timeline:
“What I can tell you is that the FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March, and then a completed background investigation in late July. Soon thereafter we received requests for follow-up inquiry and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November. Then we administratively closed the file in January, and then earlier this month, we received some additional information and passed that on as well.”
So what’s the problem? While previous reports have claimed the White House knew of the allegations against Porter months ago, and while administration officials have largely admitted as much, they had not previously mentioned the March contact Wray mentioned in his testimony. As Deputy White House Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters on Thursday, Porter’s “background investigation was ongoing,” and he had been “operating on an interim security clearance” before he finally resigned. “His clearance was never denied,” Shah added at the time.
(Via New York Times)