Pelosi Has Provided No Proof that CIA ‘Misleads’ Congress, DeMint Says

By Nicholas Ballasy | June 4, 2009 | 6:26 PM EDT

( - Contrary to her claim that the CIA “misleads” Congress “all the time” – in reference to the waterboarding of three al Qaeda terrorists – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has presented no proof that the CIA misled her, nor has anyone else, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) told

Pelosi made her remarks at a May 14 press conference. When asked whether the CIA had lied to her in a September 2002 briefing about the use of waterboarding (simulated drowning) as an interrogation technique, Pelosi said, “Yes, misleading the Congress of the United States.”

When asked later at the same press conference about whether the CIA’s actions, Pelosi said, “They mislead us all the time. … Yeah, they did. They misrepresented every step of the way.” It is a crime for a federal employee or department to deliberately lie or mislead the Congress.

When asked about whether he agreed with Pelosi, DeMint told “It’s a very unfortunate statement. I think the CIA is a large part of patriots serving in many places where their life is at risk.

“I thought her statement was very irresponsible, and she has not come forward with any proof, and no one else has collaborated what she said. So, I think it’s a very unfortunate statement for a leader of the House of Representatives to make,” he added.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said he did not believe the CIA had ever misled him, and when he served in the House of Representatives, he was on the same House Intelligence Committee as Pelosi, which received briefings from the CIA.

“I don’t agree with her, because I don’t think they’ve [the CIA] ever mislead me, and I served in the same body she did,” Isakson told

“I have never seen anything happen post-briefing contradicting the information they gave me when we were briefed,” he said. “I mean, you know, you either tell the truth or you don’t. I mean, you have these briefings, they tell you about circumstances, you make your own determination when you see things unfold, and I’ve never seen a situation where I ever thought I was misled or they didn’t tell the truth.”

When asked what he thinks should happen if the facts come out and show that Pelosi was not being truthful, Isakson said Pelosi was wrong but was entitled to her opinion.

“If everybody up here who didn’t tell the truth resigned, we’d have a hard time getting a quorum, so I think you have to be held accountable to the voters that elect you rather than calling a criminal investigation every time you disagree with somebody,” Isakson said.

“I think Mrs. Pelosi is wrong, but she's within her rights to have an opinion. I don’t think the CIA has misled me, and I go to the same briefings that she has,” he added.