During both Republican and Democratic Administrations, congressional committees have investigated practices of the Office of White House Security, which is responsible for conducting security pre-screenings of candidates for White House employment and managing reports of security violations in the Executive Office of the President.
During these inquiries, at least four directors of the Office of White House Security have testified before Senate and House Committees. In addition, FBI agents conducting background investigations have testified about concerns they had about awarding security clearances to specific individuals and committee staff have reviewed the FBI background files of specific individuals.
During the 1996 House Government Reform and Oversight Committee investigation into why the White House Office of Security had obtained the FBI files of White House employees in prior administrations, the Committee:
The Committee’s final report stated:
“The importance of following procedures and determining the suitability of staff members is to protect both the President, personally, and the vast amount of sensitive information at the White House. At no place is it more important that individuals of the highest caliber serve in positions of responsibility than at the White House. The White House handles matters of life and death on a daily basis and the American people must be able to rely upon stable and suitable people being involved in this process.”
During the 2007 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigation of the disclosure of the identify of former CIA employee Valerie Plame, White House Security Office Director James Knodell testified about whether any disciplinary action was taken by his office regarding Senior Advisor to the President Karl Rove and whether either Rove or the Press Secretary to the President had reported an inappropriate disclosure of Plame’s identity to his office.