WASHINGTON – Democrats in the House and Senate are calling for investigations into what is becoming known as GannonGuckertGate in the blogosphere in which the scandal of a White House “reporter” who led a double life was broken.
At least four members of Congress are demanding answers about the role of James Guckert, also known as Jeff Gannon, a regular of the White House press corps for two years who quit his position with Talon News following allegations he moonlighted as a high-priced homosexual escort and was involved in Internet pornography.
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., both members of the House Judiciary Committee, are demanding a federal prosecutor investigating the Valerie Plame case to subpoena a personal journal kept by Guckert during his time as a White House reporter.
“It is clear that a primary obstacle to the … investigation is uncovering a precise chronology of when, and to whom, classified information was leaked,” Conyers told Editor & Publisher, the trade journal of the newspaper industry, which disclosed the fact that Guckert maintained a journal.
Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., is ciruclating a letter among his colleagues in the upper house asking President Bush to launch his own investigation into how Guckert gained access to the White House despite having no journalism background, using a false name and leading a double life.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., has also made a request for documents related to Guckert’s White House access.
Conyers and Slaughter sent a letter to Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor investigating who leaked the identity of Plame, a CIA agent, to several reporters. Guckert interviewed Plame’s husband, Joseph Wilson, last year and has been interviewed by FBI agents on the Plame case.
“It would be unfortunate if Mr. Guckert published information that would be useful to your investigation, such as the identity of the person who gave him the memo, without your office having the benefit of its contents,” said the letter to Fitzgerald.
Durbin’s letter, meanwhile, is going straight to the president.
“We have … learned that the questions he (Guckert) posed at the White House press briefings and the stories he filed for Talon News frequently mirrored Republican Party talking points, that Talon News is a news organization in name only and that it has apparently close connections to the Republican Party,” the letter says. “Given the unprecedented level of security in Washington since 9/11, it is troubling that a non-journalist using a false name and working for a sham news organization could have gained regular access to the White House for such an extended period of time.”
Durbin calls for an immediate probe to determine if there have been “similar breaches of security.”
Disclosures that an alleged homosexual escort working for a pro-Republican website was granted access to the White House press room has led to efforts in the nation’s homosexual press to “out” top-ranking Bush administration officials and GOP leaders based on uncorroborated, undocumented and unnamed sources.
In the last week, reports in New York’s Gay City News and 365Gay.com and other homosexual-friendly publications and blogs have made specific allegations about individuals based exclusively on unnamed sources and rumors and playing off the sensational revelations about Guckert – by daylight a credentialed “reporter” covering the White House for two politically partisan websites, while allegedly moonlighting as a $200-an-hour male escort and purveyor of explicit websites like HotMilitaryStud.com and MilitaryEscorts.com. Those sites have since been removed from the Internet. Guckert allegedly posed for pictures on those sites and advertised his services.
Guckert was linked with online domain addresses suggestive of homosexual pornography. Guckert, a former resident of Wilmington, Del., told The (Wilmington) News Journal newspaper that he had registered the domain names for a client while he was working to set up a Web-hosting business.