Specter Denies Giving Amnesty Over NSA Wiretapping

Updated with Video

We've all been miffed and let down by Arlen Specter's behavior over the NSA wiretapping scandal. Jack Cafferty blasted him last week by first calling him another gutless Republican worm cowering in the face of pressure from the administration and fellow Republicans, and then saying his actions "have boggled what's left of my mind." Specter came out today on Late Edition and denied the reports that he's offered amnesty and vowed to use his subpoena power and hold hearings. I still take this with a grain of salt since he usually whips out his big rubber stamp and sides with the administration, but we need to hold him accountable on this incredibly important issue.

icon Download -WMP icon Download -QT

Late Edition (transcripts by CNN)

BLITZER: Are you, as the Washington Post reported, ready to give what they call blanket amnesty to anyone who authorized these wiretaps?

SPECTER: Absolutely not. That was an erroneous report. If anybody has violated the law, they'll be held accountable, both as to criminal conduct and as to civil conduct. And in no way did I promise amnesty or immunity or letting anybody off the hook.

BLITZER: Senator Specter, we only have a few seconds, but when will you hold these hearings?

SPECTER: Well, as soon as I find out whether they are necessary, as soon as we work through the process for now. Listen, Wolf, let's make one thing plain. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides the exclusive remedy for domestic wiretapping. There's no doubt that law has been violated. Whether the president has inherent Article Two power, constitutionally, which supersedes or trumps the statute, remains to be seen.

And it was a step forward when the vice president responded, really, within about 14 hours when he got my letter that he made the call. And we're talking. But if the talks aren't productive, I'm prepared to go back to the hearings and I'm prepared to go back to the subpoenas if necessary.

(h/t David Edwards)


Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.