The FBI made the White House aware of Rob Porter’s domestic abuse against both of his two wives, impacting his ability to get needed security clearance, last summer, FBI director Christopher Wray said Tuesday at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.
Wray’s testimony contradicts the explanation the White House finally settled on as to who knew what when on allegations against the former White House Staff Secretary. Porter resigned Wednesday after press reports saying his two former wives both told the FBI they had been physically and emotionally abused by Porter. One wife released a photograph of herself with a black eye she says Porter gave her, while the other says she told FBI Porter once put out a cigarette on her hand.
Wray assured the committee the bureau had followed standard protocols in its Porter background checks, adding, “What I can tell you is that the FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in March, and then completed the background investigation in late July.”
Soon thereafter, he said, “We received requests for follow-up inquiry, and we did that follow-up and provided the information in November.
“We administratively closed the file in January. And then, earlier this month, we received additional information and passed that along as well.”
About 24 hours earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told dubious correspondents that “We learned of the extent of the situation involving Rob Porter last Tuesday evening and, within 24 hours, his resignation had been accepted and announced.”
CNN, meanwhile, reports Porter was being considered for a promotion, and was campaigning to get the deputy chief of staff position at the time of his resignation.
Last Friday, President Donald Trump said Porter “did a good job,” adding “we wish him well.” While making no mention of Porter’s alleged victims, Trump has emphasized Porter insists he is innocent of their claims. And, over the weekend, Trump tweeted “Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” some of which he said, are “old.”
“Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?” Trump complained.
Joining Wray at Tuesday’s Senate Intel Committee hearing: Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA Director Michael Pompeo, and NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers.