Pelosi de­nies scan­dal-tainted Hast­ings top House intelligence seat

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Charles Hurt

Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 28 in­formed Rep. Al­cee L. Hast­ings,theFlori­daDemocratwho was­re­movedasafed­er­al­jud­geover bribery charges, that he would be passe­dover­forthechair­man­shipof one of the most sen­si­tive and pow­er­ful com­mit­tees on Capi­tol Hill.

“Con­gress­man Al­cee Hast­ings and I have had ex­ten­sive con­sulta- tions, and to­day I ad­vised him that I would se­lect some­one else as chair­man of the House intelligence com­mit­tee,” Mrs. Pelosi said in a short state­ment af­ter meet­ing be­hind closed doors with Mr. Hast­ings.

Mrs. Pelosi re­ceived in­tense crit­i­cism af­ter sug­ges­tions that she wouldel­e­vateMr.Hast­ingsto­thetop spot.

Law­mak­ers on both sides of the aisle ar­gued that the for­mer fed­eral judge would be a poor choice for chair­man be­cause he was charged in 1981 with ac­cept­ing a $150,000 bribe.Ajury­ac­quit­tedMr.Hast­ings af­ter a key wit­ness re­fused to tes­tify.

Still, a Demo­crat-con­trolled House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives later im­peached Mr. Hast­ings on a 4133 vote with sup­port from Mrs. Pelosi and oth­ers in Congress who now sup­port Mr. Hast­ings. The Demo­crat-led Se­nate con­victed Mr. Hast­ings and he was re­moved from of­fice.

Mr. Hast­ings, the sec­ond-rank­ing Demo­crat on the House Per­ma­nent Se­lect Com­mit­tee on Intelligence, main­tains his in­no­cence and dis­missed the im­por­tance of his im­peach­ment.

In a let­ter to col­leagues two weeks ago, he said, “Most of the con­gressper­sons and sen­a­tors who voted never saw the ev­i­dence. Many of them never read the re­ports of the com­mit­tee or re­viewed the daily videos. Iraq and the bud- get are not the only times votes have been cast with­out ad­e­quate re­view and knowl­edge of the facts.”

Among Mr. Hast­ings’ strong­est sup­port­er­swerefel­lowmem­ber­sof the Con­gres­sional Black Cau­cus, whose re­la­tions with Mrs. Pelosi have been strained. Cau­cus mem­bers have com­plained about un­fair treat­ment and ac­cused Mrs. Pelosi ofhold­ingth­em­toad­ou­ble­standard on ethics mat­ters.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.