Democratic staffer suspected leaker

Oct. 21, 2006 at 6:06 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The Republican head of a Congressional intelligence committee has suspended a Democratic staffer on suspicion he leaked a politically damaging report.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., suspended Larry Hanauer in what Democratic panel members say was another example of the increased partisan infighting that has damaged the intelligence committee's work this election year, the Washington Post reports.

A Washington lawyer representing Hanauer sent a letter to Hoekstra and Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., the ranking Democrat on the panel, saying he wanted an expedited review of Hanauer's role "to clear his name at the earliest possible date."

Lawyer Jonathan Turley said there was "not a single scintilla of evidence suggesting that Mr. Hanauer had any role in the leaking" of the National Intelligence Estimate.

The classified April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate, titled "Trends of Global Terrorism," was published in The New York Times on Sept. 24 with the headline "Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat."

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