Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, is criticizing former White House Press Secretary Scott's McClellan's appearance before the panel as a waste of time and suggested McClellan's criticism of the Bush White House is motivated by potential financial gain.
"Welcome to the Judiciary Committee's first book of the month club meeting," Smith said derisively in his opening statement.
"It's hard to take Mr. McClellan or this hearing seriously," Smith added. "Despite what Mr. McClellan says regarding Iraq, three different studies — the Senate Intelligence Committee report of 2004, the Robb-Silberman report and Britain's Butler report — conclude that intelligence reports were not altered in the lead-up to the Iraq war."
Smith also said that an criminal probe by the Justice Department "found that no White House officials 'leaked Valerie Plame's name to the media in violation of the law."
The Texas Republican tried to undermine McClellan's credibility, pointing out that McClellan's job as the White House was to "spin" the news and that's what he did. Smith said if McClellan thought Bush or other White House official were not being truthful in what they told the American public, then he should have said so when he worked inside the administration, not now.
"Many have asked why Mr. McClellan did object to what he saw while he was in the White House." Smith said. "The reason is clear: There was nothing to object to."
Then Smith went right after McClellan personally: We don't really know Mr. McClellan's motives — he says he has a revelation, which contradicts everything he said and did for two and a half years," Smith said.
Then Smith posed a series of questions:
* "What really explains going from a loyal and trusted staff member to an embittered person who makes biting accusations?
* Mr. McClellan was asked to leave his job. Did this color his views? Did he just want to strike back at those who showed him to the door?
* What role did money play? So far he [McClellan] has not revealed what he was paid for the book - or what he stands to gain by promoting it."
Smith ended by asking "who is the real Scott McClellan? ... While we may never know the answers, Scott McClellan alone will have to wrestle with whether it was worth selling out the president and his friends for a few pieces of silver."