Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) yelled at Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday over her refusal to answer simple questions about a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council who stands accused by some members of Congress of leaking classified information to make Texas look like "Islamophobes."
The man in question is Mohamed Elibiary, appointed by President Obama and allegedly affiliated with the Islamic Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt. Napolitano called the allegations against him "misleading" and "objectionable" and implied multiple times that Gohmert and others were accusing Elibiary of wrongdoing simply because he is Muslim.
Gohmert told Napolitano that her staff was apparently lying to her because an investigation found that Elibiary had accessed classified information and had downloaded it. The only thing that wasn't "confirmed" was that he leaked the information to the press.
"It did not bother you that he accessed information?" Gohmert asked.
The secretary then altered her answer slightly but quickly changed the subject. "He accessed some information. What bothers me quite frankly, are the allegations that are made against anyone that happens to be Muslim," Napolitano replied.
"Well, the allegations are not because he is Muslim. You follow me around the world, you see me hugging Muslims around the world because the ones I hug are our friends," Gohmert added. "This administration seems to have a heard time recognizing members of terrorist groups who are allowed into the White House. You are aware of that happening aren't you?"
Napolitano immediately shot back, "Absolutely not."
Last month, Hani Nour Eldin, a member of Egypt's parliament, was granted a visa and invited to attend several meetings with high-ranking White House and State Department officials, some in the executive mansion. Eldin is also a member of Gamaa Islamiya, a radical Islamic group currently listed as a designated terrorist organization.
That raises the question: Was Napalitono not informed about matters of national security, or was she misleading the House committee?
For the next several minutes, Gohmert pressed Napolitano on whether she knew what the Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt was. After initially dodging the question, she answered "Yes."
"Are you aware that Mr. Elibiary's foundation that has now been, had their charter pulled because they have failed to provide the information that the government requires to keep their 501(c)(3) status -- are you aware that that was, before the 501 (c)(3) status was pulled, called the Freedom and Justice Foundation?" asked Gohmert.
"Representative, I am not going to get into a debate about some of this -- " Napolitano started.
"I am asking you if you know simple facts!" Gohmert replied. "I don't want a debate, this is a question and answer."
The Freedom and Justice Party is an Islamist political party in Egypt with ties to the radical Muslim Brotherhood. The party won 47.2 percent of all seats in Egypt's lower house of parliament and praised the election of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi.
Napolitano absolutely refused to answer the question and was interrupted repeatedly by Gohmert because of her inability to give a straight answer.
"These kinds of insinuations demean the committee," a frustrated Napolitano said. "The insinuation that I or my staff would allow someone who is a terrorist to infiltrate –"
Gohmert insisted there was no "insinuation" but that he just wanted answers. Answers he is apparently not going to get.
Watch the tense interaction via CSPAN here:
In October 2011, Patrick Poole of PJ Media reported that Texas Department of Public Safety were concerned about a report that Elibiary may have gotten access to sensitive and classified information and that he reportedly shopped it out to the media:
Texas Department of Public Safety officials are asking questions following a report that Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council member Mohamed Elibiary may have been given access to a sensitive database of state and local intelligence reports, and then allegedly shopped some of those materials to a media outlet. He allegedly used the documents to claim the department was promoting “Islamophobia” — claims that the media outlet ultimately rejected. They declined to do the story.
Earlier today, I received confirmation from a left-leaning media outlet that Elibiary had recently approached them asking to do a story attacking Texas DPS:
Yes, he approached us and gave us some reports marked FOUO [For Official Use Only] that he said showed a pattern of Islamophobia at the department. He emphasized that some of the regional fusion centers were shut down a few years ago after the ACLU complained that they were targeting Muslim civil rights groups and said that this was being directed by [Texas Gov.] Rick Perry.