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Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner Holds Open Panel With Former Members of Congress

  • 4.17.24 Turner at HPSCI Open Panel

Today, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (OH-10) held a full committee open panel with former members of the House Intelligence Committee. Joining the open panel were former Representatives Jane Harman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Peter King, and Jim Cooper.

Click here or on the image above to view Chairman Turner's opening remarks.

The following is Chairman Turner’s opening statement as prepared for delivery:

I would like to welcome all of those in attendance and those viewing the broadcast to the fifth open panel held by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the 118th Congress.

I would also like to thank our panelists for their willingness to participate in today’s panel.

This event is the latest in a series of open panels HPSCI has conducted this Congress to inform our agenda, and includes four well-known former lawmakers who previously served on the House Intelligence Committee, including:

  • Former Congresswoman Jane Harman, who during her time in Congress remained steadfast in her commitment to U.S. national security. Ms. Harman served as the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee in the 107th and 108th Congresses. She also chaired the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and served as the President and CEO of the Wilson Center following her time in office;
  • Former Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who made history as the first Hispanic Republican woman and the first Cuban-American elected to Congress. Ms. Ros-Lehtinen was a leader in advocacy for the U.S.-Israel relationship during her time in the House of Representatives.
  • Former Congressman Peter King, who was known for his dedication to U.S. counterterrorism efforts. Mr. King previously served as Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee in the 109th and 112th Congress, and he is a well-known commentator on national security and world affairs.
  • Former Congressman Jim Cooper, who has spent time in Congress over four separate decades. He previously served as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces on the Committee on Armed Services, and was instrumental in the creation of the United States Space Force.

Thank you all for your service and for your appearance before the Committee today.

HPSCI is charged with both overseeing the Intelligence Community and making certain that Members of Congress understand the dangerous threats facing our nation so they can act in real-time and govern effectively.

Given this immense responsibility, in what appears to be a deteriorating global strategic environment, our Committee has worked in a bipartisan manner to return to its intended mission of safeguarding the American people from threats to national security.

As we have undertaken this work, we have found it particularly helpful to engage with a wide-ranging group of individuals with expertise in the most important topics that need the Committee’s attention. Beyond our frequent engagement with the U.S. Intelligence Community, recent panels have included former national security officials and think tank leaders. While most of our work is done in a classified setting, we have engaged in these dialogues, like today, in public.

Today’s open panel provides our Committee and the American people with the rare opportunity to hear from former Members of Congress about the most critical threats facing our nation and what role HPSCI can undertake in addressing them.

Some of the goals of today’s hearing are to answer the questions of:

  • What are the most critical threats facing our nation?
  • Israel is at war with Hamas, Iran has launched more than 300 missiles and drones at Israel, China is considering invading Taiwan, and Vladimir Putin continues his ruthless aggression against Ukraine. What is the proper role of the Intelligence Community in our nation’s response to these conflicts?
  • FBI Director Christopher Wray has stated that he believes the United States is at its greatest risk of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. What can this committee do to keep the American people safe?
  • What was this committee's unfinished business while these members served in Congress and on HPSCI, and how can our oversight of the Intelligence Community today be enhanced?
  • Specifically, could any of the investigations or initiatives undertaken during their time as a member of HPSCI be leveraged to address our current challenges?
  • And finally, what advice or lessons learned can these former members provide to members of the Committee today?

Your advice, your recommendations, and your unique perspectives will play a vital role in helping the Committee continue its work toward safeguarding innocent men, women, and children from the dangers that are circling our country. This is a mission at which we cannot fail. The stakes are too high, and the world is watching.

As we meet today, our adversaries are feeling emboldened. Xi Jinping considers Vladimir Putin a “dear friend.” President Xi said, “Change is coming that hasn’t happened in 100 years.” And, China and Russia want to see their authoritarian regimes win over democracy and freedom.

Now more than ever, the world needs America to take an active role on the global stage. Our adversaries will not succeed. The United States will rise to this challenge. The House Intelligence Committee will rise to this challenge.

The Committee looks forward to hearing you all expand on the thoughtful recommendations you provided in your opening statements about how we can continue to strengthen U.S. national security.

With that, I will now yield to my good friend, Ranking Member Jim Himes, for any opening statement he might wish to make.

Read the full opening statement from former Congresswoman Jane Harman here.

Read the full opening statement from former Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen here.

Read the full opening statement from former Congressman Peter King here.

Read the full opening statement from former Congressman Jim Cooper here.