The PJ Tatler

Grassley to White House: So How Did Your Colombia Review Get Done So Fast?

Sen. Chuck Grassley has many questions — 14, to be exact — about how the White House reached the conclusion so quickly that there is “no indication of any misconduct” by White House advance staff in Colombia on the Summit of the Americas trip.

Grassley wants answers to his questions back by Thursday, seeing as how it only took a weekend for the White House to review the incident and arrive at its exoneration.

“As it only took a weekend to conduct this review, it should not take long to respond to these questions,” the senator wrote yesterday to Kathryn H. Ruemmler, assistant to the president and White House counsel.

Grassley noted that he asked Secret Service Director Mark J. Sullivan on Friday whether any members of the White House Communications Agency and/or White House Office of Advance had overnight guests while in Colombia. “At this time I am awaiting Director Sullivan’s full response to all my questions,” the senator wrote.

He said that after press secretary Jay Carney noted that the White House review revealed no misconduct, “Mr. Carney refused to provide details of the review conducted by the White House Counsel’s Office.”

“What led the White House Counsel’s Office to conduct the weekend review?” Grassley asked. “Was there any thought given to having an independent review?  If not, please explain why not.”

The senator also asked how many were involved in the review, how many hours the review took, whether it was coordinated with the Department of Defense, and whether civilian employees were reviewed. He also requested details on the trip, including how many staffers had overnight guests and whether extra room charges were incurred as a result.

Carney said today aboard Air Force One that he hadn’t seen the Grassley letter and didn’t have a specific response.

“As I said yesterday, if there were an indication, we would obviously look at, but there isn’t,” Carney said. “So there you go.”