Skip to comments.Sen. Shelby Probe Referred to Ethics Panel
Posted on 07/24/2004 8:11:13 PM PDT by Former Military Chick
Sen. Shelby Probe Referred to Ethics Panel
Sunday July 25, 2004 3:46 AM
AP Photo NY114
By CURT ANDERSON
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department has referred to the Senate Ethics Committee an investigation into whether Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama or his staff leaked classified information, indicating that criminal charges are highly unlikely, a federal law enforcement official said Saturday.
The referral Thursday means that it is now up to the ethics panel to decide if any action is warranted against Shelby, a Republican who was vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Both the House and Senate intelligence committees were also briefed by prosecutors and the FBI about the findings of the investigation, said the law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe remains officially open.
The investigation concerned the 2002 disclosure to news reporters of two messages intercepted by the National Security Agency a day before the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Those messages contained the words ``the match begins tomorrow'' and ``tomorrow is zero day'' but they were not translated from Arabic until Sept. 12.
The intercepts had been disclosed by the NSA director, Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden, during a private meeting of a joint House-Senate intelligence committee that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks. Shelby was on the panel at the time.
Shelby has adamantly denied any wrongdoing and said he and his staff cooperated in the investigation. His spokeswoman, Virginia Davis, refused comment Saturday night and referred reporters to the senator's statement issued in January.
``My position on this issue is clear and well-known: At no time during my career as a United States Senator and, more particularly, at no time during my service as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have I ever knowingly compromised classified information,'' Shelby said in that statement.
It is a felony to intentionally leak classified information, but leak investigations rarely produce criminal charges because there are few witnesses and little or no paper trail to follow. Prosecutors also must prove that the person leaked the information with full knowledge it was a government secret.
The specificity of the wording in the 2002 leaks was particularly troubling to intelligence officials because it could tip off terrorists that a particular channel they were using had been compromised and thus dry up a valuable source of information by prompting them to use alternative means of communication.
Remember! This IS a politician ....
"... at no time during my service as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence((during his service - meaning: we already adjurned for the day so technically I was not working for the committee)) have I ever knowingly compromised classified information (( I didn't say that I didn't compromise any - only that I didn't know I was doing it --- the Berger defense!))
Let me guess - by the words used - this guy is a lawyer??
Interesting news ... on Sept 6, 2001:
"WASHINGTON Sen. Richard Shelby predicts President Bush eventually will accept his bill to criminalize intelligence leaks, while conceding that new administration opposition dims chances of swift passage."
I don't need to forgive you, I appreciate your honesty. He is not my Senator. Which is one of the great things of FR, we can learn about folks from different places through fellow FR posters. Thank you for the enlightenment.
Did I figure this guy out at the onset just by his words!?? He is a lawyer - sure acts and sounds like a damned lawyer at that - just like clinton.
Where was Patrick Leahy while this was going on?
Richard Craig "Dick" Shelby (born May 6, 1934) is the senior United States Senator from Alabama. He was a Democrat until 1994, switched parties after the Republican take over of Congress in that year.
Here is a good history of much of what he has done since he infiltrated the Republican side...
Sen. Richard Shelby is Porker of the Month for August 2003
Letter to Sen. Richard Shelby from Attorney Jonathan Turley concerning serious breaches of national security
Wonder when we will also see a referral of Sen. Rockefeller to the Ethics Committee for his plan to pervert the operation of the Intelligence Committee for partisan advantage...
If proven, he should be hung on the same gallows as Sandy Burglar.
You and I agree. I show no mercy to anyone who breaks the law, democrat or republican. But, I allow them to present their case. If he broke the law, it is a sad loss. Sometimes, I wonder, do they really think they are above the law.
I think this story means Berger is toast.
Sorry - but if I did this while working with that class of information, if lucky, I would get a trial before going to jail for LIFE!
This POS self-serving bastard deserves LIFE in PRISON!
absolute stupidity, is no excuse for treasonous behavior.
Whoops I replied to the wrong person - sorry FMC!