Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal became the latest powerful Democratic politician to knock the Obama administration for failing to follow the law and notify Congress before releasing five dangerous Taliban prisoners from Gitmo, calling it “a mistake” that represents a new level of White House secrecy.
Blumenthal spoke Tuesday morning with MSNBC’s Chris Jansing just moments after the senator had emerged from a classified briefing on the swap of captured Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban held in Guantanamo.
The administration broke federal law by refusing to give Congress 30 days notification of the transfer, sparking bipartisan anger on Capitol Hill. And on Tuesday Blumenthal added his voice to the chorus of critics.
“I expressed those concerns about the failure to consult Congress,” he said. “There’s a law that requires it, when any of those detainees are to be released.”
“And my feeling was that the administration should have shared it with members of Congress,” Blumenthal asserted, “as it has done with many sensitive issues — including some of the most sensitive that have happened in connection with the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.”
“And so, yes, I share those [Republican] concerns,” the senator explained, “and I feel that the administration, in fact, made a mistake by failing to consult Congress.”
But Blumenthal was also adamant that the misstep wouldn’t hurt the Democratic Party’s electoral prospects this fall.
“I think the American people are going to make judgments about who is doing most to recreate prosperity, to move America forward, to make job creation a priority in this country,” he claimed, “as well as a lot of issues unrelated to this Bergdahl matter.”