United States Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) issued the following statement to RAW STORY today in light of the recent revelation Karl Rove was responsible for revealing the identity of a covert CIA agent.
“Karl Rove has accused liberals of not understanding the consequences of 9-11, but he’s the one who blew the cover of a covert CIA agent. The President should immediately suspend Karl Rove’s security clearances and shut him down by shutting him out of classified meetings or discussions.
The excuses offered by Karl Rove’s lawyer don’t pass the laugh test. Naming someone’s spouse is the same as naming them. And as a 31-year veteran of politics, Karl Rove should know that if you want to keep a secret, you don’t tell a reporter.”
A progressive watchdog group, Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, also wrote President Bush calling for Rove to surrender his security clearance.
“Considering that it is a federal crime to identify covert agents, and that President Bush signed executive orders identifying the vital role the President plays in protecting national security secrets from unauthorized disclosure, it is appropriate for the President to suspend Mr. Rove’s clearance pending the investigation’s outcome,” the group's executive director Melanie Sloan said in a statement.
“The evidence uncovered so far raises serious questions about Mr. Rove’s conduct and his ability to safeguard highly sensitive classified information," Sloan wrote Bush . "Until those questions are resolved, CREW believes it is not appropriate for Mr. Rove to have continued access to classified information. Anything short of suspension raises an unacceptable risk to our nation’s security,”
The White House declined all questions on Rove Monday, saying they couldn't comment during an ongoing investigation.