House Intelligence Committee Chairman Suspends Staff Member For Possible Leak

Capitol Hill (AP) -- The Republican Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has suspended a Democratic staff member pending an investigation into whether the staffer leaked a high-level intelligence assessment to the news media.

The committee's top Democrat says the suspension is "without basis."

The staff member, who was not identified, was suspended this week by Chairman Peter Hoekstra. A spokesman for the Michigan lawmaker says that the aide is being denied access to classified information pending the outcome of a review.

The leak to the New York Times of a national intelligence estimate on global terror trends caused a political uproar last month. The assessment, from the government's 16 spy agencies, concluded that the Iraq war has been drawing Islamic insurgents and breeding deep resentment of the US.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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