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Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

The White House scrambled months ago to respond when it was revealed that staff secretary Rob Porter had been denied a full security clearance because of allegations of abuse from his ex-wives. Eventually, after pictures of bruises Porter allegedly caused were published, he resigned his post on Feb. 7.

But a new letter from the FBI sent to the House Oversight Committee has thrown into question the White House’s account of events.

According to the letter, made public by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), federal investigators warned the White House about “derogatory” information about Porter as early as March 2017, nearly a year before he was forced to resign. In July of that year, the bureau informed the White House it had completed the review of Porter, only to be asked by White House officials in August to re-interview Porter’s wives and his girlfriend.

By November, the FBI submitted another completed review that contained “additional derogatory information.”

In all that time, it appears the White House did little to address the fact that a man with credible accusations of abuse by multiple women was working in a key role.

John Kelly, who became White House chief of staff in July 2017, said he first learned of a “serious accusation” against Porter on Feb. 6, 2018.

But given that the White House was specifically asking for Porter’s ex-wives and girlfriend to be interviewed in August, according to the FBI, and then received a completed report from the FBI in November, it’s very hard to believe that the chief of staff didn’t know or shouldn’t have known about the repugnant allegations that eventually forced the staff secretary to resign.

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.

Photo by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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