November 30, 2009 in Nation/World

Charges against couple urged

Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Two senators said Sunday that authorities should pursue criminal charges against the Virginia couple who crashed last week’s state dinner at the White House.

“You’ve got to send a strong deterrent that people just don’t do this kind of thing,” Democrat Evan Bayh of Indiana said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona agreed, saying, “If it’s a federal crime to lie to a federal agent, and these people didn’t tell the truth about their invitation, then they should be in some way brought to justice here, again, as an example to others not to do it.”

According to authorities, Michaele and Tareq Salahi were allowed into the White House dinner Tuesday night even though they were not on the guest list. The Secret Service has apologized for the breakdown in security, and an investigation into possible criminal behavior is ongoing.

Casey Margenau, a friend of the Salahis, appeared Saturday on Fox News Channel’s “Geraldo at Large” and said, “I understand that they spent Friday with the Secret Service and they have been cooperating.”

The New York Times, citing an anonymous federal official, reported Sunday that the Secret Service interviews with the Salehis continued through Saturday.

“It’s an incredible situation,” said Bayh. “I mean, of course, people have been laughing about it, … but it’s not a laughing matter that people could get that close to the president and the vice president who aren’t supposed to be there.”

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