FBI completed Porter background check in July, says Wray

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday the agency in late July completed a background check for security clearance for former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned amid allegations of domestic abuse by two former wives.

Wray's comments conflict with the White House assertion that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and intelligence agencies had not completed investigations into Porter.

"I'm quite confident that in this particular instance, the FBI followed established protocols," Wray told Senate Intelligence Committee as the White House faces questions over when it learned about the allegations against Porter.

There was no immediate comment from the White House.

Questions have arisen about how security clearance investigations are handled as the White House grapples with the fallout over the accusations against Porter, who resigned under pressure last week.

Porter had been operating under a temporary clearance that gave him access to classified information without a final security clearance.

Wray said a partial report on Porter was issued in March and a completed report was submitted in late July. The FBI received a request for a follow-up inquiry, provided it in November and passed along additional information earlier this month.

"Soon thereafter we received a request for follow-up inquiry and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November and administratively closed the file in January," he said. "Earlier this month, we received some additional information and we passed that on as well."

Asked if the White House had been informed of the allegations against Porter, Wray said, "I can't get into the content."

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Patricia Zengerle; Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Jeffrey Benkoe)

02/13/2018 11:41

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