In a letter today, seven Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives called upon Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation of Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. for lying to Congress.
The letter began with a recap of the sequence of events that occurred March 12 when Clapper was asked by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) if the National Security Agency collects any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans and Clapper responded with, “No,sir.”
Further into the letter, the representatives — Reps. Darrell Issa (Calif.), James Sensenbrenner Jr. (Wisc.), Trent Franks (Ariz.), Blake Farenthold (Texas), Trey Gowdy (S.C.), Raúl Labrador (Idaho) and Ted Poe (Texas) — said Clapper “was asked a question and he was obligated to answer truthfully. He could have declined to answer. He could have offered to answer in a classified setting. He could have corrected himself immediately following the hearing. He did none of these things despite advance warning that the question was coming.
“The country’s interests are best served when its leaders deal truthfully with its citizens,” the letter continued. “The mutual sense of good faith it fosters permits compromise and concessions in those cases that warrant it. Director Clapper’s willful lie under oath fuels the unhealthy cynicism and distrust that citizens feel toward their government and undermines Congress’s ability to perform its Constitutional function.”
I find it humorous that members of Congress are demanding an investigation of Clapper only months after the release of my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, which is based on my own exhaustive four-year investigation of a scandal in which Clapper, as the nation’s top intelligence official, was discovered to play a major role.