Sen. Roberts dismisses Democrats' Bolton compromise proposal

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, sent a letter yesterday to senior Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee dismissing as overly broad the Democrats’ request to obtain classified information requested by John Bolton, the embattled nominee to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

As a possible compromise for moving Bolton’s nomination forward, Sens. Joseph Biden (Del.) and Chris Dodd (Conn.), the ranking Democrat and a senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, suggested that the administration reveal whether the conversations of any of a list roughly 36 people were intercepted.

In an accompanying statement, Roberts said: “After careful review, the Senate Intelligence Committee continues to find no evidence of abuse” by Bolton.

But Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), the vice chairman of the intelligence panel, flatly contradicted Roberts in a statement released late yesterday.

“Despite assertions by the Chairman, the Senate Intelligence Committee has not reached any conclusion regarding Under Secretary Bolton’s actions,” stated Rockefeller.  

Rockefeller recommended Biden and Dodd’s proposal in a letter to National Intelligence Director John Negroponte. In his letter, Roberts stated his refusal to do so.