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White House Crashers Refuse To Testify At Homeland Security Panel Thursday

Dec. 3 2009, Published 10:10 a.m. ET

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Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the couple that mysteriously surfaced at a White House State dinner, did not want to appear and testify at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing centered on the security breach Thursday, even as the chairman of the committee, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, threatened to subpoena them, if necessary.

"The Salahis said that they felt they had provided all relevant information to the committee and there is nothing further that they can do to assist Congress in its inquiry regarding White House protocol and certain security procedures," their spokeswoman said in a statement Wednesday. "They therefore respectfully decline to testify."

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Thompson said the Salahis should attend because it is "important to explain how a couple circumvented layers of security" at the event. "The Committee on Homeland Security must understand the full scope of what went so terribly wrong on Tuesday night to ensure that security gaps are sealed -- this can only be achieved by hearing both sides of the matter."

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Secret Service officials said that standard procedures at a checkpoint were not followed properly.

The couple was photographed with President Barack Obama at the November 24 event.

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