During congressional testimony, FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed a timeline that proved the White House knew former staff secretary Rob Porter’s background check was completed months ago (video below):
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, and then we administratively closed the file in January, and then earlier this month we received some additional information and we passed that on as well.
The White House has repeatedly claimed that the investigation was ongoing and that Porter’s alleged wife beating was not known by the White House:
White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah claimed on Feb. 8 that the investigation was ongoing, noted USA TODAY:
His background investigation was ongoing, He was operating on an interim security clearance. His clearance was never denied, and he resigned.
On Feb. 12, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders falsely claimed the investigation into Porter was “ongoing” (video below):
During an interview with Fox & Friends, Shah claimed on Feb. 13 that Porter’s “background check investigation had not been completed yet” (video below):
What we know about Rob Porter specifically, and that’s the incident that everybody is talking about, is that his background check investigation had not been completed yet. It was still in the investigative process and it had yet to be adjudicated. Prior to an adjudication the White House is not going to step into the middle of the process and short-circuit it.
After being confronted by reporters about her contradiction, Sanders blamed the White House personnel security office on Feb. 13 (video below):
The White House personnel security office, staffed by career officials, received information last year in what they considered to be the final background investigation report in November. But they had not made a final recommendation for adjudication to the White House because the process was still ongoing when Rob Porter resigned… in the view of personnel security office, the FBI’s July report required significant additional investigatory field work before personnel security office could begin to evaluate the information for adjudication.
However, Sanders refused to say what the “additional investigatory field work” was.
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