There is no longer any doubt that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress. Likewise, there is no doubt that his lie runs afoul of federal law. And, of course, there is no doubt that in terms of its implications for oversight, constitutional precepts and privacy for millions of Americans, his lies were far more serious than those that have gotten other people prosecuted for perjury. The question now is whether his brazen dishonesty will become a political issue — or whether it will simply disappear into the ether.
As evidenced by President Obama this week attempting to promote Clapper to head an "independent" NSA reform panel, the White House clearly believes it will be the latter. But a set of new polls out today suggests such a calculation may be wrong.
Commissioned by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Credo and conducted by Public Policy Polling in five ideologically diverse states, the surveys find that huge majorities want Clapper prosecuted.