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Reid cites FBI file on judicial pick [Big no-no]
WASH TIMES ^ | 5-13-05 | Charles Hurt

Posted on 05/13/2005 4:59:18 AM PDT by OXENinFLA

Minority Leader Harry Reid strayed from his prepared remarks on the Senate floor yesterday and promised to continue opposing one of President Bush's judicial nominees based on "a problem" he said is in the nominee's "confidential report from the FBI."

Those highly confidential reports are filed on all judicial nominees, and severe sanctions apply to anyone who discloses their contents. Less clear is whether a senator could face sanctions for characterizing the content of such files.

"Henry Saad would have been filibustered anyway," Mr. Reid said on the floor yesterday, about the Michigan Appeals Court judge who is nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

"All you need to do is have a member go upstairs and look at his confidential report from the FBI, and I think we would all agree that there is a problem there," Mr. Reid continued.

Republican staff members and supporters of Mr. Bush's nominees were outraged.

"Can you think of a better way to trash someone's reputation?" Sean Rushton of the conservative Committee for Justice asked after seeing a transcript of the remarks. "Say that there is bad stuff from an FBI investigation in a file somewhere and leave that hanging. This is character assassination of the lowest order and completely improper."

(Excerpt) Read more at washtimes.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: Nevada
KEYWORDS: 109th; appallingdems; fbifile; fbifiles; filibuster; henrysaad; judges; judicialnominees; judiciary; reid; saad; ussenate
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Bill Bennett said this morning on his radio show that, in his opinion, Reid should be censured for doing this.
1 posted on 05/13/2005 4:59:19 AM PDT by OXENinFLA
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To: Mo1; Howlin; Peach; BeforeISleep; kimmie7; 4integrity; BigSkyFreeper; RandallFlagg; ...
PING...
2 posted on 05/13/2005 4:59:46 AM PDT by OXENinFLA ("And that [Atomic] bomb is a filibuster" ~~~ Sen. Lieberman 1-4-95)
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To: OXENinFLA; Molly Pitcher; Miss Marple

Ping.


3 posted on 05/13/2005 5:00:04 AM PDT by lysie
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To: OXENinFLA

I think they've got to censure him.


4 posted on 05/13/2005 5:01:00 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Iowa Granny; kassie

Pinging you two, too.


5 posted on 05/13/2005 5:01:11 AM PDT by lysie
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To: OXENinFLA

Who does Reid think he is?! Hilliary!?


6 posted on 05/13/2005 5:02:06 AM PDT by mewzilla
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To: OXENinFLA

The mind boggles..


7 posted on 05/13/2005 5:02:34 AM PDT by SE Mom (God Bless those who serve.)
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To: OXENinFLA

I can't wait to watch the fall out from this little stunt.


8 posted on 05/13/2005 5:02:53 AM PDT by Peach
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To: OXENinFLA

The quote about the Latter Day Saints was uncalled for, though. They should keep his religion out of this.


9 posted on 05/13/2005 5:03:52 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Peach
I can't wait to watch the fall out from this little stunt.

Reid is as stupid as he is mean. Getting the popcorn ready.

10 posted on 05/13/2005 5:04:19 AM PDT by Bahbah (Something wicked this way comes)
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To: OXENinFLA

Reid is one to talk. I've seen his confidential FBI file. Now, I'm not going to say that he had a sexual relationship with a man who was a convicted spy for China. No. It would be wrong of me to even hint that Reid did such a thing. Nor would I breathe a word about his 7 visits to rehab centers for alcoholism. That information is private, and you won't hear me say a word about it ...


11 posted on 05/13/2005 5:04:24 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: OXENinFLA
Republicans on Capitol Hill weren't saying much publicly, but several denounced the action privately as an "underhanded smear" or worse.

We have A-Holes for Senators who don't know how to play a hand even when it's a royal straight flush. How they can allow that bas-turd Reid to do this and then stay quite is beyond me. Think Teddy has some stuff in his files?

12 posted on 05/13/2005 5:05:06 AM PDT by conservativecorner
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To: ClearCase_guy

Your #11 is perfect and captures the problem with what Reid did. Let's start a whispering campaign against HIM.


13 posted on 05/13/2005 5:05:37 AM PDT by Peach
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To: OXENinFLA
Reid spokesman Jim Manley referred to an incident in June when the Senate Judiciary Committee met behind closed doors to review Judge Saad's file and inadvertently left a microphone turned on that broadcast part of the secret hearing onto the Internet.

Does anyone know if this actually happened?

14 posted on 05/13/2005 5:06:59 AM PDT by Bahbah (Something wicked this way comes)
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To: OXENinFLA
Reid needs to have the book( or any book) thrown at him!

:0)

15 posted on 05/13/2005 5:07:44 AM PDT by tiredoflaundry (Some stories have more spin cycles than my Kenmore washer!)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Certainly don't mention the incident with Harry and the sheep in the hotel room in Searchlight.


16 posted on 05/13/2005 5:08:20 AM PDT by BTHOtu
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To: OXENinFLA; prairiebreeze; onyx; Texasforever; CyberAnt; BigSkyFreeper; Tamzee; mrs tiggywinkle; ...
"All you need to do is have a member go upstairs and look at his confidential report from the FBI, and I think we would all agree that there is a problem there," Mr. Reid continued.

That was a openly DIRECT threat made by Reid

Not even Hellary was stupid enough to pull a stunt like that

17 posted on 05/13/2005 5:08:42 AM PDT by Mo1 (Hey GOP ---- Not one Dime till Republicans grow a Spine !!)
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To: OXENinFLA

From Captains Quarters:

Just when we thought the smears on judicial nominees from the Democrats could not get any worse, Harry Reid moved from mere bullying to full-blown McCarthyism last night during the Senate debate. In an impromptu remark made during a prepared speech on the floor, he flatly stated that Henry Saad represented a security risk to the United States according to Saad's confidential FBI files:

Minority Leader Harry Reid strayed from his prepared remarks on the Senate floor yesterday and promised to continue opposing one of President Bush's judicial nominees based on "a problem" he said is in the nominee's "confidential report from the FBI."
Those highly confidential reports are filed on all judicial nominees, and severe sanctions apply to anyone who discloses their contents. Less clear is whether a senator could face sanctions for characterizing the content of such files.

"Henry Saad would have been filibustered anyway," Mr. Reid said on the floor yesterday, about the Michigan Appeals Court judge who is nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

"All you need to do is have a member go upstairs and look at his confidential report from the FBI, and I think we would all agree that there is a problem there," Mr. Reid continued.


This remark created a firestorm of outrage on the GOP side of aisle, and for good reason. None of the Senators have access to the file except those on the Senate Judiciary Committee or Saad's homestate senators (both Democrats) -- which excludes Harry Reid! Reid should never have been given access to that information, and if he has accessed the file, he would be guilty of a breach of Senate rules. Furthermore, by publicly characterizing the data in Saad's file, he has breached its confidentiality.

Worse than that, he has now floated a non-specific charge of malfeasance against Henry Saad against which Saad cannot defend. Saad himself cannot review his file, which contains anything anyone ever said about him to the FBI during his background check, regardless of whether it was true or not. Even those few Republicans who have defended judicial nominees against Reid's normal smears of "extremism" cannot offer defenses based on the FBI file, because to do so would be to break the same security clearance regulations Reid did in making this statement.

FBI clearance files contain raw data from every interview the agency conducts with people known to the person applying for the clearance. Anything said goes into the file. The FBI does not filter the information, and will usually investigate criminal activity suggested by the interview only if they find anything substantial. What this means, especially in political appointments, is that a fair amount of gossipy but usually exaggerated or false information gets entered into the file and later mentioned in the file's summary.

If the FBI finds anything worth investigating, they do so, and the investigation itself then becomes known to the target and -- unless national security is involved -- is declassified. If the FBI doesn't find a substantiated issue, it drops it when the clearance investigation is complete. Unless the FBI has an ongoing investigation on Saad that they haven't disclosed -- and note that Reid didn't mention one, even though Saad's clearance check was done two years ago -- it means that the FBI was satisfied with the results of the clearance check.

Reid just conducted nothing short of a Joe McCarthy-style character assassination, a tradition that Senate Democrats had come close to recreating on judicial nominations over the past few months anyway. Talking vaguely about information in secret files showing that Saad has some unnamed unfitness for office differs in no way from waving around a sheet of paper and claiming to possess a list of Communist sympathizers in the Army. He has now publicly smeared Saad in a manner that absolutely allows no public defense. No matter what happens, people will always wonder if Saad is hiding something, especially with an Arabic-sounding surname.

Reid may or may not have broken the law by his statement; my guess is he didn't, because I believe him to have lied in his characterization. I believe Harry Reid cowardly chose a way in which to smear Henry Saad that would not allow anyone to defend him. Reid should not just be censured by the Senate as a whole, but stripped of his leadership post and his committee assignments. Let him serve the rest of his term as a member at large, gathering dust on the back benches of the Senate, where he can live with his cowardice and his despicable acts.

UPDATE: Bumping this to the top for the morning. Also, Jeralyn at TalkLeft argues that an inadvertent release of this information makes it public domain. She's incorrect. The status of the FBI file, or any other classified documents, can only be changed by the agency which issues the classification. Henry Saad can't change the status on the files, and in fact, Henry Saad can't even access the file himself, because the sources for the information are named in the file. Jeralyn either knows nothing about classifications or engages in sophistry on this point, and I think it's the former rather than the latter.

Inadvertent release does not mean anything legally or ethically, otherwise no one would ever be disciplined for security breaches, as a moment's thought and common sense would indicate.


18 posted on 05/13/2005 5:08:56 AM PDT by FROGTOWN CONSERVATIVE
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To: Brilliant

I agree. That was tacky. The person seemed to add that in a search for bigots: just in case there was anyone listening who doesn't despise Reid for political reasons, maybe they'd hate him for being Mormon.


19 posted on 05/13/2005 5:09:13 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Every day is Mother's Day when you have James the Wonder Baby!)
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To: Mo1

That's because Hillary had the FBI files and leaked the info through 3rd parties.


20 posted on 05/13/2005 5:10:17 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: OXENinFLA
Just what do you expect from the head senator Rat. Compared to calling the POTUS a "looser" when he is overseas representing America this smear is tame.

Reid certainly well represents the party of half-truth, smear, and innuendo.
21 posted on 05/13/2005 5:10:58 AM PDT by TUX (Domino effect)
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To: Mo1

Reid needs to be roasted.


22 posted on 05/13/2005 5:11:15 AM PDT by Darksheare (There is a flaw in my surreality, it's totally unrealistic.)
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To: Mo1

harry reid is a vile little punk.


23 posted on 05/13/2005 5:11:36 AM PDT by xsmommy
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To: OXENinFLA
A 2004 story from the Washington Times. Posted without comment.
24 posted on 05/13/2005 5:11:40 AM PDT by McChordwatcher (Mostly lurking these days)
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To: Brilliant
"I think they've got to censure him."

I bet they don't, though.

Carolyn

25 posted on 05/13/2005 5:11:49 AM PDT by CDHart (The world has become a lunatic asylum and the lunatics are in charge.)
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To: Peach
I can't wait to watch the fall out from this little stunt.

The likely fallout will be the leaking of said "confidential" FBI report. You know the media's going to go all out to get their hands on it now.

26 posted on 05/13/2005 5:14:00 AM PDT by CFC__VRWC ("Anytime a liberal squeals in outrage, an angel gets its wings!" - gidget7)
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To: OXENinFLA

Harry Reid will not be censured. He's a Democrat. And Republicans do not dare apply the rules to a Democrat. Sure the Republicans will whine and cry foul, but they won't do anything about it.


27 posted on 05/13/2005 5:14:30 AM PDT by MisterRepublican
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To: OXENinFLA

Nice going Reid. Using the power of government to destroy.


28 posted on 05/13/2005 5:16:17 AM PDT by Enterprise (Abortion and "euthanasia" - the twin destroyers of the Democrat Party.)
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To: OXENinFLA; xsmommy

Did Harry have direct access to the FBI file, or did he get a copy from the 700+ files that Hillary still has?


29 posted on 05/13/2005 5:16:32 AM PDT by TheGrimReaper ("Virtue begat Prosperity, and the daughter killed the mother". - Cotton Mather, 1720.)
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To: CDHart

No. They will say that he's been punished enough by the bad publicity.

Reid has got to be one of the stupidest politicians we've ever had. It's one stupid statement after another, each one more stupid than the last.


30 posted on 05/13/2005 5:16:35 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: MisterRepublican

Anyone going to listen to Rush today? I can't but Im sure he'll be all over this and I would love a full report


31 posted on 05/13/2005 5:16:37 AM PDT by FROGTOWN CONSERVATIVE
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To: Bahbah

I know it happened in the Texas legislature during redistricting - in a committee room.


32 posted on 05/13/2005 5:17:19 AM PDT by mathluv
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To: Brilliant

Why should we do that? He wears his religion on his sleeve like a badge of honor, and then he does these types of things constantly. You can't worship two Gods, and I know Reid has picked the God of power and corruption.


33 posted on 05/13/2005 5:18:26 AM PDT by conservativecorner
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To: CFC__VRWC

I hope it does get leaked. I'd like to know what Harry considers to be disqualifying. Probably has something to do with a divorce.


34 posted on 05/13/2005 5:18:31 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: ClearCase_guy
Reid is one to talk. I've seen his confidential FBI file. Now, I'm not going to say that he had a sexual relationship with a man who was a convicted spy for China. No. It would be wrong of me to even hint that Reid did such a thing. Nor would I breathe a word about his 7 visits to rehab centers for alcoholism. That information is private, and you won't hear me say a word about it ...

... and the less said about the child-porn ring, the better.

35 posted on 05/13/2005 5:19:06 AM PDT by kevkrom (If people are free to do as they wish, they are almost certain not to do as Utopian planners wish)
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To: Bahbah
Does anyone know if this actually happened?

I says in the article that supporters of Saad were not aware of this leak before now

36 posted on 05/13/2005 5:20:49 AM PDT by Mo1 (Hey GOP ---- Not one Dime till Republicans grow a Spine !!)
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To: FROGTOWN CONSERVATIVE

There is usually a live thread during Rush.


Don't get me wrong, I think what Lady Reid did was atrocious and deserves punishment. But Republicans have a history of wimpiness when it comes to standing up to the vile Democrats.


37 posted on 05/13/2005 5:21:43 AM PDT by MisterRepublican
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To: kevkrom

I light of the "Bush is a loser" comment and the Frist is "amatuer leadership" comment, and the long list of other dumb-is-as-dumb-does comments this guy makes on a regular basis, I take you comments about his FBI file as an attempt to rehabilitate his character.


38 posted on 05/13/2005 5:22:28 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: lysie

I was reading about this late last night. I forget who's story I was reading. But the red flags went up when I read it.

Thanks for the ping. I follow this one closely.


39 posted on 05/13/2005 5:25:30 AM PDT by Iowa Granny (May require a Forklift soon)
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To: FROGTOWN CONSERVATIVE

I'll be listening - Rush seems to have a greater dislike for "Dingy Harry" than just about anybody, he sure gets his licks in.


40 posted on 05/13/2005 5:26:27 AM PDT by quantim (Victory is not relative, it is absolute.)
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To: CDHart

Is there not ONE conservative senator with the backbone to do what needs to be done? I wonder if Jesse were still there if he would call for censure.


41 posted on 05/13/2005 5:27:22 AM PDT by TNCMAXQ
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To: Bahbah

looks like it did happen

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1402376/posts?page=24#24


42 posted on 05/13/2005 5:27:43 AM PDT by Mo1 (Hey GOP ---- Not one Dime till Republicans grow a Spine !!)
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To: quantim

keep me posteed on what he says today. It will be lots of fun I'm sure


43 posted on 05/13/2005 5:29:17 AM PDT by FROGTOWN CONSERVATIVE
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To: quantim

keep me posteed on what he says today. It will be lots of fun I'm sure


44 posted on 05/13/2005 5:29:17 AM PDT by FROGTOWN CONSERVATIVE
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To: ClearCase_guy
Reid is one to talk. I've seen his confidential FBI file. Now, I'm not going to say that he had a sexual relationship with a man who was a convicted spy for China. No. It would be wrong of me to even hint that Reid did such a thing. Nor would I breathe a word about his 7 visits to rehab centers for alcoholism. That information is private, and you won't hear me say a word about it ...

WHAT??? Harry Reid had a sexual relationship with a man who was a convicted spy for China???? And he had 7 visits to rehab centers for alcoholism?????

Wow. Let's keep that under wraps.

45 posted on 05/13/2005 5:30:45 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Not Elected Pope Since 4/19/2005.)
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To: Lazamataz

lol!


46 posted on 05/13/2005 5:31:07 AM PDT by tiredoflaundry (Some stories have more spin cycles than my Kenmore washer!)
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To: Mo1
It says that this battle over Saad has been going on since Bush, Sr. was President!

"The 6th Circuit squabble goes back to 1992, when Judge Saad was first nominated to the federal bench by Mr. Bush's father and blocked by committee Democrats."

47 posted on 05/13/2005 5:32:01 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: kevkrom
... and the less said about the child-porn ring, the better.

WHAT???? Harry Reid traffics in child porn????

Let's not spread this confirmed fact around.

48 posted on 05/13/2005 5:32:34 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Not Elected Pope Since 4/19/2005.)
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To: Iowa Granny

The GOP response should be:

"The gentleman from Nevada should be more careful about his characterizations of confidential information in FBI files. Having seen HIS file, we wonder how he ever got a security clearance. Of course, we can't elaborate on the shocking indiscretions revealed in his file."


49 posted on 05/13/2005 5:37:53 AM PDT by Timeout (Dean & the Bike Path Left: aging anti-warriors who use "summer" as a verb~~Jonah)
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To: Timeout
"The gentleman from Nevada should be more careful about his characterizations of confidential information in FBI files. Having seen HIS file, we wonder how he ever got a security clearance. Of course, we can't elaborate on the shocking indiscretions revealed in his file."

B I N G O ! ! !

50 posted on 05/13/2005 5:40:21 AM PDT by Iowa Granny (May require a Forklift soon)
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