Sunday, July 16, 2017

SECURITY_ GOP lawmaker wants former Obama aide to testify


GOP lawmaker wants former Obama aide to testify

By John Bowden
- 07/15/17 05:35 PM EDT

© Getty Images

A member of the House Oversight Committee said Saturday that he wants former senior Obama administration official Ben Rhodes to testify on Capitol Hill.

Speaking to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on MSNBC, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) addressed the leaks that have dogged the Trump administration since January.

"If you look at some of the leaks that have come out, for example, when the president’s having a conversation with a foreign leader, there may be a memo that’s created, distributed to the National Security Council. The next thing you know, it’s on the front page of the paper," DeSantis said.

"Look, there’s only so many places that would come from. And the Obama holdover working with Rhodes, that’s a place we’ve been encouraged to look," added DeSantis, who chairs the panel's national security subcommittee.

DeSantis said he would defer to Oversight chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who is also a member of the House Intelligence Committee, on whether Rhodes would be asked to testify, but said he hoped the former deputy national security adviser did appear.

"I would like to bring him in to talk to him about it, because I want to figure out how all this information was getting out from the FISA intercept," DeSantis said, referring to information obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

DeSantis said that the intelligence panel has "brought in some pretty big names" as part of its investigation into alleged leaks surrounding the Trump administration, but declined to offer details.

The GOP lawmaker also addressed former FBI Director James Comey authorizing a friend to share with The New York Times details from a memo he wrote about his interactions with President Trump that he said bothered him.

"Do you think there’s a crime involved in the leaking of those memos?" Hewitt asked.

"I don’t know, yet. I think that it was certainly improper to do it if it’s a government record," DeSantis responded.

"I don’t know that it violates a federal statute. If there was classified information contained within that, then I think that probably is a violation of federal law."



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