Harman: Intelligence Committee Chairman Abused Power, Suspended Staffer To Settle Political Score

Pete HoekstraThis week Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) suspended a committee staffer’s access to classified information. Hoekstra said the suspension would remain in place pending a review to determine if the staff leaked a classified National Intelligence Estimate to the New York Times.

Today, Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), the ranking member of the committee, fired back:

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.

Harman also sent a letter to Hoekstra. You can read it HERE.