Here’s how CNN just reported it:
HOST: Developing news in washington. Let’s get to andrea koppel with details. She joins us by phone from the capital. What is going on, andrea?
ANDREA KOPPEL: Don, good afternoon. As cnn had indicated last week, the question regarding the chairmanship of the house intelligence committees has been a burning one here on capitol hill and the name that was topping the list, at least the short list as one of the main candidates for the position, congressman alcee hastings of florida. He was in the running of it for this position and now cnn can report that he is no longer in the running, according to a democratic aide, nancy pelosi, the speaker-elect of the house, had a meeting this afternoon with hastings in which she said basically he is not going to be the chairman. This is a real disappointment for alcee hastings who has been on the intelligence committee the last seven years. The congressional black caucus of which he is a member, felt he was the best qualified candidate now that jane harmon, basically her name was taken out of the running. So that leaves basically three candidates out there whose names are swirling among them, sylvester reyes of texas who would be the first hispanic chairman if elected. Sanford bishop who is a congressman in georgia and norm dix of washington state who is not a member but one of the names that is out there as possible chairmen. We expect a decision to be made very soon. We are told at the moment that no decision has been made.
HOST: Andrea, not to put you on the spot but we thought that alcee hastings, they’re not giving any idea why this turn of events?
KOPPEL: Well, certain what alcee hastings and his supporters would say is that they believe the trial that hastings had when he was a federal judge back in 1983 in florida, he was accused of — and then acquitted of trying to extort $150,000 bribe that was in a case that came before him. He was acquitted in that jury trial, but then five years later, he was found guilty and basically convicted in the –. In the senate, he was impeached, rather, by the senate in 1989. So even though hastings says in a court of law, it was a one month long trial by jury that he was acquitted, he believes and his supporters believe that the sort of aura that sort of hung over him following his impeachment at the senate is basically what was the blackball in preventing him from getting this position, don.
HOST: Thank you for bringing this story for us and giving us some context. Andrea koppel on capitol hill, thank you.