Why Nancy Pelosi Thinks Alcee Hastings Is Qualified

Over the last few weeks, I have pointed out that the man Nancy Pelosi wants to head the House Intelligence Committee if the Democrats win control of the House, Alcee Hastings, got impeached and removed for corruption from the federal bench by a Democratic Congress twenty years ago. For a potential Speaker who likes to talk about “draining the swamp” of Republican corruption, giving a disgraced judge the gavel to a committee critical to national security seems not just strange but dangerous in a time of war. However, Ruth Marcus tells a story in her Washington Post column today that explains Pelosi’s enthusiasm for Hastings:

The evidence against Hastings is circumstantial, but it’s too much to explain away: a suspicious pattern of telephone calls between Hastings and Borders at key moments in the case; Borders’s apparent insider knowledge of developments in the criminal case; Hastings’s appearance at a Miami hotel, as promised by Borders as a signal that the judge had agreed to the payoff; a cryptic telephone conversation between the two men that appears to be a coded discussion of the bribe arrangement.
Consider: Hastings, a federal judge, gets word from Borders’s lawyer that Borders has been arrested for conspiring to bribe him and that the FBI wants to interview him. Instead of calling the FBI agents whose names and numbers he’s been given, Hastings leaves his hotel without checking out and heads to the airport outside Baltimore instead of National, where there’s an earlier flight. At BWI, Hastings calls his girlfriend, has her call him back at a different pay phone, then asks her to leave the house to call him from a pay phone, then calls her back from a different pay phone. He doesn’t speak to the FBI until they track him down at the girlfriend’s house later that night.

So that’s why Pelosi wants him to lead Intelligence — he has so much experience at clandestine work!
Marcus scolds Pelosi in her column for allowing Hastings to gain control of the key House panel for nothing more than venal political gain within her party. Marcus covered the trials of Hastings, and although the criminal trial resulted in an acquittal, she strongly believes that the judicial review panel and the Democratic-controlled House and Senate reached the correct conclusion. She reminds readers that the other figure in the case, William Borders, went to prison for the bribery scheme, and also refused to testify to Congress, earning him more time behind bars.
And why is Pelosi so dead set on Hastings? Marcus confirms what I wrote earlier; the Congressional Black Caucus will not support her for the speakership if she doesn’t select Hastings. Jane Harman, the current ranking member of the committee, got that slot from Pelosi when the Minority Leader reinstated her seniority and passed over Sanford Bishop, another black representative. They want the same thing done now for Hastings in reverse, regardless of his past corruption, and Pelosi doesn’t have the moral courage to refuse them.
The CBC’s spokesperson told the Post that its first order of business is to protect its members. Apparently, that takes precedence over protecting America, and the CBC views Intel as just another means to divide spoils. They also insist that Hastings has the knowledge and the experience in intelligence work. If they’re referring to his clandestine work, they certainly have a point.
This is what a Democratic majority will bring.

4 thoughts on “Why Nancy Pelosi Thinks Alcee Hastings Is Qualified”

  1. Playing Politics with Intelligence

    I think Captain Ed says it as well as anyone:The CBC’s spokesperson told the Post that its first order of business is to protect its members. Apparently, that takes precedence over protecting America, and the CBC views Intel as just

  2. How will Dems fight culture of corruption? With a corrupt impeached former judge!

    If you think your are voting to throw the bums out. Think again.
    Pelosi is in a box of her own devising. The panel’s ranking Democrat is her fellow Californian Jane Harman — smart and hardworking but also abrasive, ambitious and, in Pelosi&…

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