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WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has agreed to sign a letter calling for a White House investigation into the press scandal involving Jim Guckert, a journalistic neophyte who was ushered into the nation’s inner media sanctum using an alias.
The letter is being circulated through the Senate by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and has found other supporters such as Sens. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, both of Massachusetts.
The scandal is becoming known as GannonGuckertGate in the blogosphere where the strange story of a White House “reporter” who led a double life was broken.
Members of the House of Representatives are also demanding answers about the role of 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.
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.
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 – who allegedly moonlighting as a $200-an-hour male escort and purveyor of explicit websites like HotMilitaryStud.com and MilitaryEscorts.com. Guckert allegedly posed for pictures on those sites and advertised his services.
Guckert was linked with online domain addresses suggestive of homosexual pornography. A former resident of Wilmington, Del., he 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.
Meanwhile, Guckert is using his website – JeffGannon.com – to fire back at his critics.
“I’m baaaaaaack!” he announces. “If you thought I was going to slink away – then you don’t know much about me. Someone still has to battle the left, and now that I’ve emerged from the crucible, I’m stronger than before. Despite all the pleas from the left to go over to the ‘dark side’ and expose the ‘corrupt Bush administration’ [that] simply isn’t going to happen. My faith and my ideology are rock solid.”
Guckert continues: “Still, the last few weeks have been difficult for my family and my associates. To them I offer my apology and gratitude for their support. In regard to the allegations about my personal life, I have been advised by my attorneys not to comment on any of the details pending the outcome of any possible legal action I might pursue. Therefore, I won’t be discussing any of that stuff here.”