Chuck Schumer is now off the floor telling reporters that Democrats have “for the longest” time been attempting to get the Senate Intelligence to keep its promise to investigate the use of intelligence in going to war and liberating Iraq. He claims that ranking Democratic Jay Rockefeller had been attempting to get the committee as late as last Friday to take up the issue.
But according to Senate Intelligence Committee staffers, Rockefeller and committee chairman Sen. Pat Roberts have been collegial about the issue.
A Senate Minority Leadership staffer says this plan to shut down the Senate was hatched last night, as staff and Democratic Senators looked over the wreckage of what they believed was going to be their finest few days in a long time: an indictment of a White House official, a struggling President, a conservative judicial nominee, a splintering conservative base.
“Alito’s nomination and the press that followed just devastated them,” says the leadership source. “They couldn’t get their message out. They felt that things had pivoted on them, and that with the President presenting his plan for avian flu, with the Alito nomination going apparently well, with the tax panel recommendations, they were going to get ploughed under. This was a stunt. But it worked.”