Congresswoman Jane harman - Press Release


October 20, 2006




WASHINGTON D.C. -- Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-Venice), Ranking Member on the House Intelligence Committee, today released the following statement in response to Chairman Pete Hoekstra's unprecedented suspension of a Committee staffer’s access to classified information. Attached is a letter Harman sent to Hoekstra on October 18th, responding to his action:

“The Chairman’s unilateral action is without basis and an abuse of his power to provide security accesses.  There is no evidence to suggest that the professional staff member in question did anything wrong.

“In May, the NIE was provided to multiple congressional committees and made available to thousands of individuals throughout the intelligence and policymaking community.  The document was posted on the internal Committee website and available to every Committee staff member days before the story was published.  In securing the document and providing it to a Member of the Committee in the secure Committee offices, this staffer acted appropriately.

“The Chairman has acknowledged in a letter to me that his action was a direct response to my decision to release the 5-page unclassified Summary of the Cunningham Report by the Special Counsel. 

“The Majority staff has also informed Minority staff that they do not believe the staffer in question actually leaked any classified information, but they felt “compelled” to take this action because a Majority member of the Committee requested an investigation.

“That Member has been quoted in the press, saying, “There are no coincidences in this town.”  I do not believe this unwarranted action is any coincidence either.  It is an effort to silence those of us who want to speak truth to power about the Cunningham matter.

“Attached is a letter I sent to Hoekstra on October 18th, responding to his action.  This letter reflects the views of all nine Democratic Members of the Committee.”