After sixteen years as a congressman, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) at last stepped onto the national stage today. Joining House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), Becerra made himself part of the phalanx of human shields protecting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) from the media in her first press conference since her disaster last Friday when she accused the CIA of lying repeatedly to Congress.
At times looking nervous, at others lethargic, Pelosi refused to answer any questions on the firestorm she ignited.
Pelosi said, “I have made the statement that I’m going to make on this and I don’t have anything more to say about it. I will stand by my comment and what we are doing is staying on our course and not be distracted from it in this distractive mood. We’re going to move forward in bipartisan way for jobs, healthcare, energy for this country, and on the question that you asked I’ve made the statement that I’m going to make, and I won’t have anything more to say about it.”
And the press let her get away with it. No groans, not insistent repeating of questions framed differently. Only one reporter even tried, asking “Madame Speaker, since last week the what you knew when and comments about being misled by the CIA, was big, big news, Madame Speaker. Leader Boehner has said produce evidence that you were misled or apologize. CIA director Panetta has said that the CIA is not in the practice of misleading Congress.”
But she refused to answer. Pelosi stonewalled and then droned on.
The Speaker talked instead about the glories of CAFE standards, credit card legislation and general House business, even dragging colleagues to her side to congratulate themselves for things they did so far this legislative session.
The other questions were on issues no one on the planet was actually interested in. There was one shout out from a reporter as Pelosi left the room asking for comment on Rep. Steve King’s personal resolution asking for a suspension of Pelosi’s security clearance.
Pelosi winced but did not answer the question.
On Thursday evening during Special Order speeches, Congressman Steve King (R-Ia) read into the Congressional record a privileged resolution calling for the suspension of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s security clearance stating that if Pelosi’s situation is not resolved by the time the House reconvenes after the Memorial Day district work period, King intends to introduce the resolution.
“The relationship between Members of Congress and the intelligence community cannot be jeopardized because of the Speaker of the House leveling allegations of lying to Congress against our intelligence officials,” King said. “Speaker Pelosi has accused the CIA of committing a federal crime — lying to Congress. The CIA and other American defense and intelligence agencies cannot trust Nancy Pelosi with our national secrets, let alone our national security, until this matter is resolved. If true, there has been a serious violation of federal law. If false, American national security requires a new Speaker of the House. The severity of Speaker Pelosi’s accusations leaves no middle ground, and her security clearance should be suspended pending investigation.
“If the Speaker is unable or unwilling to provide evidence to support her allegation, that she and Congress have been lied to by the CIA, the American people will be left with no choice but to conclude that she made this allegation for political purposes,” King concluded. “Until her allegations are proven, she should not receive sensitive or classified information pertaining to the national security interests of the United States.”