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Shelby Again Postpones Lake's Nomination Hearings


WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 11) -- Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) announced today he is again postponing hearings on the nomination of Anthony Lake to become CIA director.

Shelby gave a familiar list of reasons, with one addition: that while Lake was President Bill Clinton's national security advisor, his aides may have met with a foreign donor who made illegal contributions to the Democratic Party.

The hearings were to begin on Feb. 25, but have now been put off until March 11. This marks the second time Shelby has postponed hearings on Lake's nomination.

Shelby said that detailed questions given to Lake in mid-January have not yet been answered. The questions relate to National Security Council contacts with fund-raisers; energy stock divestitures and potential conflicts of interest; Iran-Bosnia arms shipments; and other matters.


In addition, Shelby said, the committee has not yet received Lake's official FBI background investigation.

Shelby says the Justice Department's investigation and Lake's subsequent settlement regarding ethics violations are "only a small part of the (committee's) overall, ongoing investigation" into whether Lake should head the CIA.

White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry acknowledged that the Senate has the right to set confirmation schedules, but he urged senators to keep in mind Clinton's heavy foreign travel itinerary over the next few months.

"We have ample need to have strong leadership within the intelligence community as we move into the weeks ahead," McCurry said.

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