In 2009 Nancy Pelosi claimed that CIA lied to Congress about its use of water boarding. She was the Speaker of the House of Representatives at the time. CIA countered her claim and argued that she was informed of the "enhanced interrogation techniques" they considered available to them.

Number two House Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer, distanced himself from Pelosi’s statements, saying he had no reason to believe that the CIA had mislead Congress.

Does anyone know if any elected federal official called Nancy Pelosi a traitor for falsely accusing CIA of lying to Congress? Did anyone in any popular media establishment (reaching a million people or more on daily basis) call Nancy Pelosi a traitor for falsely accusing CIA of lying to Congress?

This is not a question about whether anyone here, in this community, thinks it was or was not treason. I am asking if there are known instances of this having been called "treason" by anyone in a specific group of people during a specific time frame. Please, accompany your answers with links or other verifiable references.

  • Comments archived.
    – yannis
    Jul 20, 2018 at 7:11
  • 1
    Her statement is not treasonous, and that's obvious on its face if you know what treason means. So there is no reason to even suspect that someone has called her treasonous, and no reason to ask this question, unless you've already heard someone call her treasonous. But if you have, then there would be no point in asking the question, because it would be a matter of "I've heard someone call Pelosi treasonous. So my question is: has anyone ever called Pelosi treasonous?"
    – John
    Apr 10, 2019 at 23:06
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    Also, it appears that the CIA misled President Bush, the Senate, and other committees about its use of waterboarding as an interrogation technique. So it seems that Nancy Pelosi was right. In other words, it would not have been treason if she were lying, and additionally, she wasn't lying. So there is no good, linear reason to assume that she had been called treasonous. businessinsider.com/…
    – John
    Apr 10, 2019 at 23:43
  • The fact that the CIA said they didn’t lie to Pelosi does not imply that that they were telling the truth that they didn’t lie to Pelosi. In fact if they did lie to Pelosi, it would hardly be surprising if they lied about the lying as well. And the fact that Steny Hoyer wasn’t aware of evidence that they lied doesn’t mean that they didn’t lie either. And the Business Insider article is further indication that Pelosi was right. So perhaps the better question would be “Have any members of Congress said that the CIA leadership committed treason by lying to Nancy Pelosi?” Aug 20, 2020 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


There's an (opinion) article that claims in its title "Republicans Must Apologize For Calling Nancy Pelosi a Traitor", but lack substantive details. I couldn't find out which Republican exactly may have done that. The Republican leadership, while strongly criticizing Pelosi on that issue, didn't go for the T-word, but well... read below:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is engaging in a "despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort" to withhold what she knew about the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques, former Speaker Newt Gingrich said Friday.

Gingrich said Pelosi "lied to the House" when she earlier claimed that the CIA had never briefed her about the Bush administration's use of interrogation methods like waterboarding, which is considered torture by the current administration.

"I think that the House has an absolute obligation to open an inquiry, and I hope there will be a resolution to investigate her. And I think this is a big deal. I don't think the speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters," the Republican leader said in an interview with ABC Radio.

Pelosi has been under fire from critics who say she was fully briefed on the techniques in 2002 and 2003. On Thursday, the California Democrat accused CIA officials of misleading her, reiterating a claim that she was briefed on such techniques only once -- in September 2002 -- and that she was told at the time that the techniques were not being used.


"Lying to the Congress of the United States is a crime," House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"If the speaker is accusing the CIA and other intelligence officials of lying or misleading the Congress, then she should come forward with evidence and turn that over to the Justice Department so they be prosecuted. And if that's not the case, I think she ought to apologize to our intelligence professionals around the world.

On Thursday, Pelosi said the briefing she received from the CIA was incomplete and inaccurate, and she called on the agency to release a full transcript of the briefing. She also accused Republicans of jumping on reports of the briefings to cause a distraction.

The speaker's comments prompted CIA Director Leon Panetta to stand up for the agency on Friday and challenge Pelosi on her assertion that the CIA had misled her.

So basically calls for her to be investigated or for her to apologize, but no T-word that I could find.


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