Should the FBI have a confidential file, I can’t look at it. I also cannot accuse someone of having a communicable disease and not expect to be sued for it. But, if I’m a United States Senator, I can say whatever I want on the Senate floor and be immune from prosecution. LIkewise, I can get a briefing on an FBI background report of a Presidential nominee. But, I’m suppose to be discreet and not make accusations based on a report the accused cannot rebut.
Tell that to Harry Reid. For his treatment of Henry Saad yesterday, Harry Reid should be flogged. Byron York has the details.
During a debate about the filibusters Thursday, Reid, who has made a series of controversial statements about President Bush, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and others in recent months, brought up the subject of Henry Saad, a nominee to a seat on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. “Henry Saad would have been filibustered anyway,” Reid said. “He’s one of those nominees. 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 there is a problem there.”
Stunned Republicans say such a public description of a confidential FBI background report — clearly stating that it contains negative information — is, in the words of one GOP official, “deeply unethical.” “He didn’t reveal the contents, he just implied that something serious was there,” says the Republican. “To drag this into the public debate is just totally improper.”
What Reid did crossed the line. We have to wonder if he has become mentally unbalanced. First he attached Allen Greenspan, then Clarence Thomas, then the President, and now does this. The Senator must be off his meds.
For some follow up details, see also Smagar’s Diary.