Following the John Murtha debacle, House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi potentiallly has a mess on her hands: What to do with the Intelligence Committee chairmanship? Word on the Hill is that Pelosi is “determined” to make Hastings the next chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
In 1989 however, Hastings, a judge at the time, was impeached by a Democratically-controlled House and subsequently convicted and removed by the Senate for bribery and perjury. So Pelosi’s apparent support for Hastings, like with Murtha, is causing a great deal of uproar.
But if she passes on Hastings, then will upset the Congressional Black Caucus.
The top Democrat on the committee is California Rep. Jane Harman. But Harman is a major political rival of Pelosi’s and was reportedly the subject of an FBI investigation for improperly influencing a Justice Department probe. Pelosi aides have also said that she is leaning heavily against choosing Harman.
With “diversity” and “ridding Congress of corruption” at the top of the Democrats laundry list, both Hastings and Harman would be poor choices.
The solution? TIME Magazine has said that Georgia Rep. Sanford Bishop could be the best solution. From the article:
Pelosi may have few good options in the current dilemma. If she decides to replace Harman with someone other than Hastings, she could easily offend the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), which has insisted that Hastings’ seniority entitles him to the position.
But some aides have also rumored that there might be another solution: installing a former panel member, Georgia Rep. Sanford Bishop, who is also African-American, in place of either Harman or Hastings. Whatever happens, one thing is clear: after her Murtha debacle, Pelosi — and the Democrats, for that matter — cannot afford another misstep so early in her tenure.
Bishop however, said he supports Hastings.
Around and ’round we go!