Bishop tries, fails to launch a probe into Pelosi's claims about alleged CIA lies

June 16, 2009

Politics » Utah congressman says speaker’s comments have tainted the House’s reputation.

Washington » Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, argued a second time Tuesday that the House should appoint a special panel to investigate what Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew of alleged torture techniques and whether the CIA lied to her as she claimed.

But Bishop’s resolution calling for a probe — similar to one he tried in May — failed on a strictly party-line vote of 247-171.

Republicans have hammered Pelosi on comments she made in interviews and publicly claiming that intelligence officials misled her on the enhanced interrogation techniques used on suspected terrorists. At one point, the speaker said the CIA misleads Congress “all the time.”

Bishop charged on the floor that her comments have tainted the reputation of the House.

“It is the integrity of the House that is in question here, and needs to be answered so decisions of this House will be considered without any other kind of question or implication,” Bishop said.

“There is only one solution to this… if we don’t want this issue to simply be subject to political maneuvering: establish a bipartisan committee,” he added.

Bishop’s resolution called for two Democrats and two Republicans to investigate the accuracy of Pelosi’s comments. But the measure was ruled out of order and then tabled by Democrats, who hold a strong majority in the House…

Republicans tried a full court press to gain traction on the Pelosi issue, circulating talking points and noting that her office turned down a Des Moines Register interview when her staff learned the reporter would be asking her about the CIA comments.

“If the speaker believes the CIA lied to her, why does she continue to get briefed on highly sensitive intelligence matters without letting Congress investigate her unsubstantiated claims?” asked Ken Spain, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

A spokesman for Pelosi’s office did respond to a request for comment.
Click here to read the full story.