Roll Call: Dem Intel Aide’s Access Restored

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Remember Larry Hanauer, the Democratic aide on the House Intelligence Committee whose clearance was yanked because he was suspected of leaking the Iraq NIE?

House Intel Chairman Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) probably hopes you don’t, because, as Roll Call reports (sub. req.), Hanauer’s access to classified info has been quietly reinstated, “essentially clearing the aide of accusations that he leaked a sensitive report on the Iraq War to The New York Times.”

Hoekstra had stripped Hanauer of his access based on remarkably thin evidence — that Hanauer requested a copy of the Iraq National Intelligence Estimate shortly before the Times reported on the NIE’s findings. Nevermind that the Times piece clearly stated that details of the report came from a number of intelligence professionals, with whom the reporters had been speaking for weeks. In fact, as Rep. Ray Lahood (R-IL) admitted, Hanauer was demoted as payback for the Democrats having released, over Hoekstra’s objections, a report on Duke Cunningham’s dirty doings.

Now Hanauer’s been officially (and suddenly) cleared, it seems. Yet another sign that we’re in a new era.

Update: A statement from Jonathan Turley, Hanauer’s lawyer:

We are grateful that this long nightmare for Larry and his family is now over. It is regrettable that it took this long given the total absence of any evidence linking Larry to the New York Times articles. As we stated at the outset of this controversy, Larry was not and could not have been the source for the New York Times story.

As a result of his name and private telephone number being leaked to the media, Larry has now been the subject of horrible and reprehensible threats.

I hope that the total vindication of Larry will now restore his good name and standing as a professional staff member.