Authorities investigating couple that crashed dinner

November 26, 2009 8:28:18 PM PST
The Secret Service says it's looking into its own security procedures after two people crashed a state dinner at the White House. Investigators are trying to determine if the couple committed a crime.

They dressed the part, carried themselves with confidence, and apparently that was the key to getting into the hottest party on the Washington political and social scene.

The wannabe reality stars are giving the Secret Service a reality check, showing one of the world's most secure addresses isn't so hard to enter after all.

Tareq and Michaele Salahi not only crashed the Obama's first state dinner, they also managed to cozy up to key White House Officials from the Chief of Staff to Vice President Joe Biden, and even ABC's Robin Roberts.

"She was working that tent, boy was she working that tent," Roberts said.

The Salahi's were not on the list of the more than 300 invited guests. Thursday night, the Secret Service says it has identified a check point "which did not follow proper procedures."

Guests entered the grounds from the southeast gate where Secret Service matched IDs against a White House list. Then there was another line and a second check point with the same process. From there, guests went through a metal detector and in to the party.

"The real concern is if they would have had a different intent. Could they have possibly physically attacked somebody? Of course they could have," said Brad Garrett, ABC News Security Consultant.

"There are occasions where a name may have inadvertently been left off a list and the Secret Service will work with the staff to make sure they're doing the right thing," said Anita McBride, Former Laura Bush Chief of Staff.

It's unclear whether anyone from the White House vouched for the Salahi's. Mrs. Salahi is hoping to land on Bravo's upcoming Real Housewives of DC TV show. A camera crew from the reality series even followed them up to the White House gate.

Thursday night, Michaele Salahi's Facebook page still contains evidence of her exploit and the claim she was invited.

Of the more than 450 comments posted: One person wrote: "She invited herself, after all isn't it the people's house?" Another said "Wow! You're like the Paris Hilton of Washington."

There was still no word Thursday from the Salahi's.

A Secret Service spokesperson says in addition to reviewing their own procedures, they're also investigating whether trespassing or other charges can be brought.

An attorney who knows this couple says all they did was go to a party. He believes they've done nothing wrong.


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