Showing her resolve, Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fl.) on Tuesday that he is not going to chair the House Intel Committee. "Today I advised him that I would select someone else as Chairman," she said. It was an obvious call for Pelosi.
She would have been scorched on the ethics and national security fronts if she let Hastings wield the Intel panel gavel. Pelosi was well aware, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) told the Chicago Sun-Times last week, of Hastings record.
And that is he was dumped from a perch as a federal judge after being impeached more than 20 years ago. The impeachment came after he was acquited in a criminal trial for alleged bribery.
The panel, officially called the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, now is in need of a chairman. Pelosi won't elevate the ranking Democrat on the panel, Rep. Jane Harmon (D-Calif.), which created the vacancy sought by Hastings, the next-in-line.
Pelosi faced potential criticism from the Congressional Black Caucus for passing on Hastings. House Democrats want to make ethics legislation a centerpiece of their first 100 days when they take power in January...and Hastings could have created a political perception problem.
Pelosi Statement on Chairmanship of Intelligence Committee
Washington, D.C. - Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi released the following
statement today on the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on
"Congressman Alcee Hastings and I have had extensive consultations, and
today I advised him that I would select someone else as Chairman of the
House Intelligence Committee. Alcee Hastings has always placed national
security as his highest priority. He has served our country well, and I
have full confidence that he will continue to do so."
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