GOP Leader Wants Proof Or Apology From Pelosi

4876687Republicans continued over the weekend to hammer House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her allegation that the CIA misled her about the use of torture, with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) calling for the speaker to either provide further proof or apologize.

"Lying to the Congress of the United States is a crime," Boehner said on CNN's "State of the Union." "If the speaker is accusing the CIA and other intelligence officials of lying or misleading the Congress, then she should come forward with evidence and turn that over to the Justice Department so they be prosecuted. And if that's not the case, I think she ought to apologize to our intelligence professionals around the world."

On Thursday, Pelosi said the CIA in a fall 2002 briefing misleadingly told her that detainees in the war on terror had not been subject to waterboarding.

The speaker tried to stay out of the spotlight over the weekend, opting to spend time with family instead of appearing on the Sunday morning talk shows.

She also released a statement on Friday that said her criticism was directed at the Bush administration, not employees of the CIA.

"My criticism of the manner in which the Bush Administration did not appropriately inform Congress is separate from my respect for those in the intelligence community who work to keep our country safe," Pelosi said in the statement. "What is important now is to be united in our commitment to ensuring the security of our country; that, and how Congress exercises its oversight responsibilities, will continue to be my focus as we move forward."

Conducting oversight responsibilities could mean establishing a "truth commission" to investigate whether torture was used during detainee interrogations, as well as who to hold responsible for any illegal acts. Pelosi has indicated she supports a move in the House to create a a nine-member investigative commission with subpoena power, though the Senate is more skeptical of creating the commission. The Senate Intelligence Committee is already conducting an investigation into the Bush administriation's interrogation program and what committee members knew about it.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Fox News' "Fox News Sunday" that he does not think it is necessary to establish a truth commission, the Politico reported.

"My own view is, what is the point of going back and trying to figure out who knew what when?" he said. "The best way for the dispute to be resolved is through the intelligence committees. At some point we'll find out what the truth is."

On NBC's "Meet the Press," Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele attempted to put some responsibility for Pelosi's allegations on the White House.

"She has put the Democratic Party in a position where the question for me is does the president support Nancy Pelosi's version of what happened or the CIA director's version of what happened," Steele said. "You have the speaker of the House saying that she wasn't told, that she doesn't have a clue, and the evidence contradicts that."

Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) defended the speaker on NBC's "Meet the Press," saying Republicans were focusing on Pelosi's allegation to divert attention away from the Bush administration's actions. He said the controversy over Pelosi's comments "will resolve itself."

"I don't think it's that big a deal," he said.

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