A new FBI timeline given to Congress says the White House knew that former aide Rob Porter had some skeletons in his closet for nearly a year prior to his resignation, which came after two former ex-wives went public with allegations of abuse.
A letter dated April 13 from FBI assistant director Gerald Roberts to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which was released by Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, Roberts says that the FBI “provided a partial report of investigation addressed to the Counsel to the President,” Don McGahn, “which contained derogatory information” on March 3rd of last year. The letter didn’t say what the derogatory information was. The FBI provided a more complete report in July.
A White House official claimed to the New York Times that the letter fell through the cracks because McGahn was busy with the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch and the vetting of other cabinet nominees, a pretty dubious claim considering how dumb and corrupt all of the Trump cabinet members are. “Don never saw it,” the official said. “The right people never saw it.”
The White House’s story on Porter has been, shall we say, less than consistent. The Washington Post reported in February that McGahn knew a year prior that Porter’s ex-wives were about to make allegations about him that would threaten his security clearance, and that chief of staff John Kelly knew about the allegations in the fall.
Porter resigned on February 7, shortly after the Daily Mail published an interview with ex-wife Jennifer Willoughby detailing allegations of abuse and the Intercept published a photo showing Colbie Holderness, another ex-wife, with a black eye which she said Porter gave her when he punched her in the face in 2005. Not even two months after Porter’s resignation, the New York Times reported that Trump “has told some advisers he hopes Mr. Porter returns to work in the West Wing.”
“The FBI has now confirmed that it repeatedly provided derogatory information to the White House about Rob Porter as far back as March of 2017,” Cummings said in a statement. “The White House is now refusing to provide documents to the Oversight Committee, yet Chairman [Trey] Gowdy refuses to issue a subpoena or demand interviews of White House staff that he promised.”
“This is the latest in a string of grave national security breaches at the highest levels of the Trump Administration, yet the White House is openly defying Congressional oversight while Chairman Gowdy refuses to issue a single subpoena to anyone—no matter how grave the abuse,” Cummings added.