In a speech on the Senate floor, Democratic leader Harry Reid said the American people and U.S. troops deserved to know the details of how the United States became engaged in the war, particularly in light of the indictment of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff.
Statements from Reid demanded the Senate go into closed session. With a second by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the public was ordered out of the chamber, the lights were dimmed, senators filed to their seats on the floor and the doors were closed.
For more on closed sessions, check out this CRS report.
UPDATE: Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) says the closed Senate session is “some sort of stink about Scooter Libby and the CIA leak.”
UPDATE 2: Statement of Sen. Jay Rockefeller on the closed session.
UPDATE 3: Statement of Sen. Harry Reid on the closed session.
UPDATE 4: Majority Leader Frist reacts: “They have no conviction. They have no principles. They have no ideas. But this is the ultimate. Since I’ve been majority leader…have ever I been slapped in the face with such an affront to the leadership of this grand institution.”
UPDATE 5: From Hotline: “Sen. Reid and Sen. Jay Rockefeller decided on today’s tactic after reading Murray Waas’s account on NationalJournal.com of how senior members of Vice President Cheney’s staff, including Scooter Libby, may have intentionally withheld crucial documents from the Senate staff.”