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FBI had photos showing Porter’s alleged abuse in early 2017: report

The Hill logo The Hill 2/17/2018 Josh Delk

a man wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Hill The FBI had photos showing former White House staff secretary Rob Porter's alleged domestic abuse toward his ex-wife in early 2017, CNN reports, raising questions about what information senior aides such as counsel Don McGahn had access to regarding Porter.

The bureau obtained the photos of Porter's first wife Colbie Holderness with a black eye just seven days after President Trump's inauguration, according to CNN. Holderness provided the photos as part of Porter's background check to obtain a security clearance.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress that the bureau provided an initial report on Porter to the White House in March 2017 and a full background check report in July. A law enforcement official told CNN that the White House would have at least been told of the existence of the photos at the time.

White House officials have claimed that they were unaware of the extent of the abuse allegations until the photos surfaced in media reports earlier this month along with allegations from both of Porter's ex-wives about past physical and emotional abuse.

The FBI then raised questions into when the White House would have known, with a testimony from Wray explaining that the bureau had sent reports to the White House months before the initial report in the Daily Mail.

The Washington Post reported earlier this month that McGahn knew about domestic abuse allegations against Porter at least a year ago. CNN reported that a source said he learned in September that the domestic violence allegations were delaying Porter's security clearance.

Porter resigned from his post shortly after the allegations came to light but has maintained his innocence.

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