Dinner Crashers 'Respectfully Decline' Congress Invite

The so-called state dinner crashers actually did get an invite to the Capitol for an affair Thursday, but they said they will "respectfully decline."

Tareq and Michaele Salahi were invited to testify before the House Committee on Homeland Security's hearing Thursday on how the couple managed to get in to a state dinner at the White House without invitations.

In a statement released this evening, the Salahis' representative said the couple has fully cooperated with the Secret Service and members of Congress investigating the incident, and "there is nothing further that they can do to assist Congress in its inquiry."

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"They therefore respectfully decline to testify," the statement concluded.

Some members of Congress seem to have a different view of whether the Salahis should appear.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said the Salahis' testimony "is important to explain how a couple circumvented layers of security at the White House on the evening of a State Dinner without causing alarm."

"Late this evening, I was informed by the Salahis' counsel, that their clients, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, may not appear before the Committee tomorrow as requested," he said in a statement released after the Salahis' announcement. "If the Salahis are absent from tomorrow's hearing, the Committee is prepared to move forward with subpoenas to compel their appearance."

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E-mails between the Salahis and a Pentagon official obtained by ABC News Tuesday indicated the official was trying to get them in to the White House event, but did not succeed.

Read the full text of the Salahi e-mails HERE.

In the emails, Pentagon official Michele S. Jones told Tareq and Michaele Salahi that she was trying to get them access to the White House grounds, but never said she had received approval, contradicting the couple's claim today that they had emails proving they had been invited to the Nov. 24 gala.

VIDEO: The couple broke into a Congressional Black Caucus dinner without an invitation.
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In the last email from Jones, sent at 8:46 a.m., Nov. 24, she said she still had not gotten them tickets.

"The arrival ceremony (was scheduled to be outdoors) was canceled due to inclement weather," Jones' email said. "They are having a very small one inside the WH, very limited space. I am still working on tickets for tonight's dinner. I will call or e-mail as soon as I get word one way or another."

In an email sent at 1:03 a.m., Nov. 25, the Salahis wrote that they did not get a cell phone message from Jones because "my cell phone battery died early this evening while we were in D.C. from our country home."

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"We ended up going to the gate to check in at 6:30 p.m. to just check, in case it got approved, since we didn't know, and our name was indeed on the list!" they wrote. "We are very grateful, and God bless you. We just got home, and we had a very wonderful evening as you can imagine!"

Appearing on NBC's "Today," the couple said they had been invited and were confident they could prove it.

"I can tell you, we did not party-crash the White House," Tareq Salahi said. "We're going to show you documentation from e-mails that you'll get a chance to see. ... I am certain we're going to be completely exonerated."

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