Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert says he learned from a CIA-connected “whistleblower” in 2006 that Bush administration officials were suppressing the existence of a wiretapped conversation between Rep. Jane Harman and a suspected Israeli agent.
John D. Negroponte, former head of the then newly established Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), had blocked then CIA Director Porter J. Goss from briefing Hastert, according to the account the whistleblower gave the former Republican House speaker.
Gen. Michael V. Hayden , who became CIA director upon Goss’s forced resignation in May 2006, also had not informed Hastert about the wiretap, according to what the whistleblower told Hastert’s aides.
Under a decades-old agreement between Congress and the CIA, the head of U.S. intelligence was supposed to brief the top House Republican and Democrat if one of their members became ensnared in a national security investigation.
Incensed that Bush officials had ignored their obligation to alert him, Hastert demanded an explanation from then-Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Hastert said in an April 25 email.
But Hastert, a former Illinois Republican, was rebuffed, he said. Hastert directed his staff to inform his Democratic counterpart, then Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., about the Harman wiretap.