The Congressional Inquiry
After Donna Moss had been sworn in and gave her name Congressman Gibson started the questioning.
‘Miss Moss as you know the purpose of these hearings is to determine whether the White House is operating a system that is immorally permissive and allowing behaviour which would normally be considered a breach of the fraternisation rule. You are currently living with White House Chief of Staff, Joshua Lyman, is that correct?
‘Do you feel that your personal behaviour in this regard sets a permissive tone amongst White House Staffers?’
The questioning went on along the same lines for ten minutes then the Chairman said Congressman Bailey it is your turn.
‘Thank you Mr Chairman I should put on the record that I know the witness we both worked on the Russell for President campaign and both for a time worked at the White House together.’
‘Noted please carry on.’
‘Donna can you remind me where did you and Josh go on your honeymoon?’
‘Why looking for somewhere to take Kate on a romantic break? We went to Hawaii.’
Donna was expecting a question like this as last night Josh had told her that Will was going to out them as a married couple. The idea was to undermine the inquiry. The answer and the question caused a lot of surprise as everyone thought they were just living together. When the Chairman had restored order and signalled for Will to carry on Will said.
‘Moving on Edie Ortega and Lester Williams are both in White House Communications and are in a relationship. Why is this not a breach of the fraternisation rule?’
‘They met during the Santos campaign for the presidency so the relationship predated their coming to work at the White House. An Executive Order was sought that in those circumstances the fraternisation rule did not apply. President Santos agreed to this and an Executive Order to that effect was made.’
‘We do not appear to have that Executive Order could we have a copy?’
‘No problem I will have it sent across this afternoon.’
‘Is there anyone who is in a relationship that would be a breach of the fraternisation rule that is not covered by the Executive Order and if so what happened to them?’
‘Yes Bram Howard is in a relationship with one of the Presidential secretaries. They were given words of advice.’
‘Thank you those are my questions.’
The Chairman took over the questioning
‘If you are married why do you use the name Moss?’
‘I got married after I started in my current position and after looking at what was involved in changing my name on the records and speaking to Ron Butterfield, the Head of the Presidential Security Detail, it was agreed that it would be easier to just use my maiden name.’
‘Why was no announcement made at the time?’
‘Personal choice we wanted a quiet affair. Presidents Bartlett and Santos were invited with their families and apart from them there was only family and about a dozen close friends including Congressman Bailey although he was not a Congressman then.’
‘Thank you that concludes your evidence session. The committee will consider its next moves in view of the evidence we have just heard.
The day after Donna’s appearance before the Congressional Committee Edie had to face the White House Press Corp. A Christian would have fared better against a hungry lion.
‘Edie, Yesterday Donna Moss stated before a congressional inquiry that she and Josh Lyman went on Honeymoon to Hawaii. Why were we not informed that they had got married.’
‘Steve I am the President’s Press Secretary I deal with issues relating to the government of this country. I do not give updates on the personal lives of members of staff.’
‘Follow up, Edie, we had an understanding with your predecessor that we would be told if there was any change in the position in relation to Josh and Donna. Why was that understanding not kept to?’
‘Steve it was at you said with my predecessor not me I was not aware of it. In any event Josh and Donna wanted privacy. Katie.’
‘Edie you do realise that there will have to be payback for keeping us in the dark over this I was given a very hard time by my features editor who has had to bin a four page spread.’
Before Edie could answer there were loud murmurs of consent from the other members of the press corp.
‘Alright I can see that you are all upset about being kept in the dark about Josh and Donna getting married. A full press pack is being distributed with all the salient details. The photos were taken by the White House Photographer. What more can I do?’
‘Give us an update on Sam and Ainsley and invites to your and Lester’s wedding and we might forgive you.’
‘On me and Lester I am not sure that there will be a wedding we have not been together that long. On Sam and Ainsley they are expecting their second child later this year.’ Edie waited for the outcry.
‘Second we did not know about the first. You cannot keep us in the dark on important things like this. My features editor is really going to be mad now.’ Was the retort from an aggrieved Katie.
If there are no more questions that is a wrap.
When Edie got back to her office Lester was waiting for her.
‘Does this mean that the wedding is off?’
‘No I just did not want to have that lot there. We will just tell them it was a spur of the moment thing.’