WASHINGTON (AP) — The House majority leader reluctantly agreed Tuesday that congressional hearings should investigate Speaker Nancy Pelosi's assertion that she wasn't informed, more than six years ago, that harsh interrogation methods were used on an al-Qaida leader.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., called Republican challenges to Pelosi's assertion a diversion from the real question of whether the Bush administration tortured terrorist suspects. Nonetheless, he acknowledged the controversy should be resolved.
Democrats will hold a series of hearings on Justice Department memos released last month that justified rough tactics against detainees, including waterboarding — simulated drowning — and sleep deprivation.
While Democrats want the hearings to focus on what they call torture, Republicans have tried to turn the issue to their advantage by complaining that Pelosi and other Democrats knew of the tactics but didn't protest. Pelosi was briefed in 2002 while on the House Intelligence Committee.
Here is Pelosi's last sputtering statement on the briefings she received.