Alleged White House Crashers Invoke Fifth Amendment

Salahis will refuse to testify if subpoenaed by House Homeland Security Committee

With nothing else about them in the news Tuesday, the alleged White House party crashers' people released a letter their lawyer, Stephen A. Best, sent to the House Homeland Security Committee.

Tareq and Michaele Salahi will invoke their Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to testify if they are subpoenaed to appear on Capitol Hill about the security breach at the Nov. 24 state dinner. Last week, the couple declined an invitation to tell their story to the committee at a hearing.

The couple managed to get into the state dinner without being on the approved guest list.

In the letter from the couple's lawyer to the committee leadership, the Salahis state in signed declarations that they will invoke their privilege against self-incrimination and decline to answer questions from the committee. So much for insisting they didn't do anything wrong.

The Salahis decision to invoke the Fifth is in response to their vilification by the press and public officials and to "premature conclusions about this matter" drawn by committee members and their staffs, the letter read.

The Secret Service is currently conducting a criminal investigation into the security breach. Charges have yet to be referred for prosecution.

Legal experts have said that if the Salahis lied to federal officials to gain access to the dinner, they could be in trouble.

In an e-mail to the federal official they asked to get them an invite, the Salahis admitted they went to the dinner without confirmation just to see if they got last-minute approval, which they didn't, but they managed to get in and take some pictures with some high-profile politicians.

And in other Salahi news, the Lowell, Mass., Spinners, a Boston Red Sox minor league affiliate, in an apparent to keep the couple away from their annual alumni dinner, sent the couple an invitation. Remember, people, they don't dig on invites.

The guest list for the Dec. 29 awards dinner also includes a more traditional baseball roster featuring Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis and former Boston catcher Rich Gedman.

A short-season farm club populated largely with recent draft picks, Lowell has held wacky promotions before such as Jack Kerouac bobblehead night and "Birth Night" in which pregnant women were admitted free and the first to give birth was given a year's supply of diapers.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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