Friday, October 28, 2005

Democratic Leaders React to Libby Indictment

Democratic leaders comment on the indictment of Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis Libby:

Representative John Conyers, Jr (D-MI)

"Today's indictments represent the beginning, but not the end of the process of finally holding the Bush Administration accountable for its conduct in foisting a preemptive war on this country. The prosecutor has performed his job in pursuing this case vigorously and fairly. However the charges really beg the larger question - what did the President and Vice President know about these and related matters, and when did they know it? I believe it is imperative that Congress pursue these questions and determine how these charges fit into the entire web of deception, manipulation and obfuscation laid bare by the Downing Street Minutes and Treasongate. As a result, I have directed my staff to conduct a comprehensive investigation and review of the facts concerning not only alleged efforts to misuse the White House to out a CIA operative, but misinformation concerning the run up the Iraq War, and all legal violations and breaches of trust by the Administration concerning the War."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

"This case is bigger than the leak of highly classified information. It is about how the Bush White House manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to bolster its case for the war in Iraq and to discredit anyone who dared to challenge the president. It's now time for President Bush to lead and answer the very serious questions raised by this investigation. The American people have already paid too steep a price as a result of misconduct at the White House, and they deserve better."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

“The criminal indictments of a top White House official mark a sad day for America and another chapter in the Republicans’ culture of corruption. At the heart of these indictments was the effort by the Bush Administration to discredit critics of its Iraq policy with reckless disregard for national security and the public trust.”

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)

"It is stunning to see someone so close to the President and Vice President indicted for lying to a grand jury and trying to cover up a national security leak. These are very serious charges. Clearly the obstruction of justice charge suggests that Mr. Libby was trying to prevent the prosecutor from finding out the truth."

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)

"The charges against Mr. Libby are very serious as they give the appearance that this White House puts politics ahead of our national security. The primary role of government should be protecting the American people, not settling political scores."

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI)

In the wake of these charges, and the ongoing investigation, the President should remember the pledge he made to the American people that he would bring honor and dignity to the White House and change the tone in Washington. If he is to honor that pledge, the President must insist on a complete and truthful accounting of any unethical conduct by his administration in this matter and so should Congress."

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)

"Today is an ominous day for the country, signifying a new low since Watergate in terms of openness and honesty in our government. This is far more than an indictment of an individual. In effect it's an indictment of the vicious and devious tactics used by the Administration to justify a war we never should have fought. It's an indictment of the lengths Administration officials were willing to go to cover up their failed intelligence, their distortion on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and their serious blunders on the war. It is an indictment of their vindictive efforts to discredit anyone who challenge their misrepresentations."

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)

"Today’s indictment charging that Lewis Libby willfully interfered with the investigation into the possible exposure of a CIA agent’s identity raises serious national security concerns. Taking such action for political purposes is simply reprehensible and should never be tolerated. This Administration owes our CIA agents around the world a promise that their identities will never be jeopardized. And it owes the American people direct answers and responsible action."