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Makeup Artist Erwin Gomez to Testify About White House Crashers

Celebrity stylist Erwin Gomez will be testifying before a federal grand jury Tuesday morning, apparently in an investigation related to now-infamous White House state dinner crashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi. Both Gomez and "hair artist" Peggy Ioakim received subpoenas Friday to testify. The CEO of the Erwin Gomez Salon and Spa, James Packard-Gomez, says that Ioakim has been called to testify at 11:30 a.m. and Gomez at 12:30 p.m. at the federal courthouse at Third Street and Constitution Avenue. The salon is being represented by the law firm Tobin, O'Connor and Ewing, which Packard-Gomez says "offered pro-bono legal defense in order to explain how things work" to the hair and makeup artists. Michaele Salahi spent seven hours at the Erwin Gomez Salon on Nov. 24, the day of President Obama's first White House state dinner, held for the prime minister of India. The Salahis attended the event, even though, according to the Secret Service, they were not invited. (The presence of a third allegedly uninvited guest, Carlos Allen, also came to light recently.) Packard-Gomez says that their lawyers told him that the subpoena is most likely related to the Salahis. According to Politico, the subpoena says the grand jury is investigating a possible violation of 18 USC 1001, a federal statute that covers lying to a government official. The Washington Post has reported that a federal grand jury was convened to investigate the Salahi matter.

When reached by phone on Monday night, Packard-Gomez said his company's policy is to "maintain our clients' privacy and celebrities' confidentiality. However, when we received a call from the White House in regards to national security, we have a legal obligation to tell the truth to protect the government and the first family." However, Packard-Gomez emphatically states that "Michaele Salahi had never stepped foot in our salon before that day." He quickly clarified that in 2007, his staff told him that she came to the salon when he and Gomez were out of the country and "claimed we authorized her to get free hair extensions" in exchange for invitations to the Salahis' America's Polo Cup event. He claims she said, "I can get whatever I want," but was turned down for the free service by the staff. On the day of the state dinner, Packard-Gomez says Salahi paid her bill of approximately $230 before leaving the salon, for makeup by Gomez and hair by Ioakim. He explains the cost was relatively low for such a long period of time because Salahi did not get seven hours' worth of services -- much of the time was taken up by "a huge production" of TV cameras shooting for possible inclusion in the upcoming Bravo reality show "Real Housewives of Washington, DC." Interestingly, the owners and staff of the Erwin Gomez Salon and Spa are familiar with the standard level of security at the White House because they provided on-site salon services to the first family and extended family members last January. "On inauguration night, we were in the Lincoln Bedroom. So we know what White House security is like," recalls Packard-Gomez. "It's harder than Fort Knox to get into the White House." From Fort Knox to an event crashed by uninvited guests: My, how much can change in a year.