White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today said the White House Counsel’s office had conducted a review of White House advance officials’ actions on the ground in Cartegena and found no suggestion any had engaged in inappropriate activities.
“There is no indication of any misconduct,” Carney said.
But the review may be of limited value. Carney refused to release details of the investigation or say how thorough it was or even how it was conducted – including whether those who were in Cartegena were interviewed. Carney indicated the review lasted no more than three days, saying it had begun Friday.
Carney also used a relatively weak formulation in exonerating White House staff, saying there is “no indication” of misconduct.
Carney explained the lack of further detail by saying there had not been any specific allegations lodged against White House officials. Specific charges have been made that Secret Service and military service members brought prostitutes back to their rooms, and several Secret Service members have lost their jobs.
“If someone comes to us with some credible allegations that anyone at the White House was involved in any inappropriate conduct,” the White House would consider them, he said.
Indeed, there does not appear to be any credible evidence produced in the public arena that White House officials engaged in misconduct. But the potential jeopardy to national security if they did is so grave that some, including Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) have called for investigations.
Grassley, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter Friday suggesting he wants the Secret Service or the Department of Homeland Security to look into the activities in Cartegena of White House staffers.
Carney lashed out at what he said were “rumors” about White House misconduct published on the Web.
“There have been rumors published on the Internet by people with no editors and no conscience,” Carney said.