Democrats, Republicans clash over Kline comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democrats and Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee will likely continue to battle this week over remarks Rep. John Kline and other Republicans made after a closed hearing Thursday.

At the time, Kline told The Hill newspaper that “based on what I heard and the documents I have seen, I came away with a very clear impression that we did gather information that did disrupt terrorist plots.”

In response, Democrats said they were considering punishing the Republican members on the subcommittee, who they argued had disclosed sensitive information with the press after they agreed that the meeting would be closed to the public.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., the chairwoman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations who appeared on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” on Friday, called Kline’s comments “really quite remarkable and irresponsible.”

Schakowsky said that she didn’t know if sanctions ought to be given, or what might be done, but that “I certainly think there needs to be accountability.”

Schakowsky said: “I think it is a very serious breach of our obligations as members of the committee. At the very least, I would say it is a violation of the rules.”

Kline declined to comment this weekend on Schakowsky’s comments.

But late Friday night, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, fired back at Schakowsky and other Democrats.

Miller maintained that his members had acted appropriately.

“Mr. Kline has in no way released any classified information in regard to the hearing,” Miller told The Hill.

Miller then announced to The Hill that on Monday he would request that “the exact same hearing take place in an open forum.”

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/08/2009 - 02:59 pm.

    The over the top Democrat response to such an innocuous statement suggests that they are having second thoughts about having opened this can of worms.

    Bit late for buyers remorse, IMO.

  2. Submitted by Craig Huber on 06/09/2009 - 11:57 am.

    I’ll take the open forum for $400, Alex.

    Betcha the R’s find a back-door way to shoot it down…

  3. Submitted by Howard Miller on 06/09/2009 - 11:59 am.

    A closed security national hearing, after which Republican Representatives run out and chat up to reporters what their conclusions were based on hearing … and Democrats pointing out that Republicans violated the security of the meeting … and that’s over the top?

    Should the Democrats have just meekly said thank you to Republicans for violating national security standards again?

    Mr. Kline – of all Republicans – should have been more tight-lipped. His military experiences have been forgotten apparently as he and other Republicans drift around, stuck inside their anti-everything-Obama fog

  4. Submitted by Nancy Gertner on 06/09/2009 - 12:03 pm.

    Back when I wore the uniform of the United States Navy, we still used the slogan, “Loose lips sink ships.” I would think John Kline, who had a career in the United States Marine Corps, would remember the importance of maintaining operational security, as I think he still maintains close contact with officers in the Pentagon. Does he have Alzheimers? Or is he so obsessed with defending torture and those that would approve it that his judgement is warped?

    I say, “Make him walk the plank, sir.”

  5. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 06/09/2009 - 03:25 pm.

    Who testified at the hearing – Dick Cheney?

Leave a Reply