The letter was written after a review of documents
released to Rep. Slaughter and Conyers by the Secret
Service, first published on RAW
STORY. The records showed that "Gannon,"
who previously or was currently working as a male escort,
was given access on more than 200 occasions to the White
According to the members' review, Gannon logged 196
entries; RAW STORY's
review found Gannon sometimes entered on more than one
day and on fourteen occasions failed to check out.*
The letter to McClellan follows.
LETTER TO SCOTT McCLELLAN:
April 25, 2005
Assistant to the President and Press Secretary
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. McClellan,
We write to ask you to identify who in your office,
or in the White House generally, gave Mr. James Guckert
a.k.a. "Jeff Gannon" virtually unfettered
access to the White House. In reviewing the response
to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the Department
of Homeland Security several of our specific concerns
were validated. While your office and the White House
have claimed Gannon was treated as just another reporter,
the records we have obtained affirm that Gannon was
granted access to the White House which appears to be
unusual for any reporter. Out of concern for not only
security, but also avoiding White House dissemination
of propaganda, we request an explanation to the following:
1. The Department of Homeland Security's records indicate
that Mr. "Gannon" entered the White House
Complex 196 times in the past two years. He attended
155 of the 196 press conferences held at the White House
in the two year period. This is disconcerting considering
that your office and "Mr. Gannon" have maintained
that his access was sporadic. At what point is a "hard
2. The records show that Mr. "Gannon" was
allowed access to the White House 38 times when no public
press events occurred. He also spent hours in the White
House both before and after press events took place.
With whom did he meet on those occasions and what was
the subject matter of those meetings?
3. On 13 occasions there is a record where he checked
in with security, but is never registered as leaving
the White House complex. How do you explain this?
4. Your Media Assistant, Lois Cassano, requested a
total of 48 day passes for Mr. "Gannon" which
helped facilitate his access for nearly 200 times over
the last two years. It is nearly impossible that she
would have made Gannon such a priority without direction
from a supervisor. Would you like to revise your claim
that, "I don't involve myself in that process,
it's handled at a staff level."
These records appear to confirm our concern that Gannon
was treated in a manner that deviated from standard
White House procedure for determining who receives press
credentials, and to what degree members of the press
and public are granted access to the White House complex.
In fact, these entry and exit records only raise more
questions, as your office has issued conflicting statements
about his activities and apparently abused the press
pass policy to avoid a full-fledged background investigation
and allow Republican propaganda to be disseminated through
a counterfeit media operation and a fake reporter.
Mr. McClellan, we have yet to receive any direct communication
from your office in response to our repeated requests
for information. The American people deserve to know
what is happening in the White House Briefing room.
It is unacceptable that you continue to deny them this
Rep. Louise Slaughter
House Rules Committee
Rep. John Conyers, Jr.
House Judiciary Committee
Article originally published Apr. 25, 2005.
*The variance in 'Gannon's' number of White House
visits may be because the members' offices counted the
number of days 'Gannon' checked in; sometimes 'Gannon'
checked in more than once on the same day.