Party-Crashers Conned Secret Service

Couple talked their way past security, may face criminal charges
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2009 2:20 PM CST
This screen image made from Michaele Salahi's Facebook page shows a photo Michaele Salahi, right, with the CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, at the White House state dinner in on Tuesday Nov. 24, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The state dinner crashers got in on pure chutzpah, conning a Secret Service agent into giving them access without verifying their names in the White House computer even though they weren't on the guest list. A law enforcement official tells MSNBC that rumors an administration official "waved in" Tareq and Michaele Salahi are false. And the Secret Service said it may open a criminal investigation into the incident.

The Salahis' lawyer said his "clients were cleared by the White House" to be at the party. Amid rampant speculation that includes reports they penetrated security to improve their chances of being selected for a reality show, "we're being intentionally vague on that," a Secret Service rep told the Washington Post. "All we are saying is that procedures we have in place weren't followed." Gawker posits that the couple used their ties to an Indian diplomat to gain entry.

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