POLITICO – Bennie Thompson covering for absent Napolitano?

Source: Napolitano skipped Xmas plot hearing for think-tank meeting

So… where was Janet Napolitano last Wednesday when she decided to skip a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on the Christmas bombing plot?

At the moment the homeland security secretary might have been testifying about the biggest security breach on her watch — before the major House committee tasked with investigating the matter, she was in her office consulting with members of an unspecified think-tank, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Dems on the committee are still seething over what they view as a snub.

Napolitano had originally told Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) that she needed to miss the hearing because of a trip to Europe to discuss aviation security. In fact, the secretary returned home Monday, and was reportedly still tired two days later — if not quite cancel-all-my-appointments-tired.

The secretary did speak with Thompson late Monday or early Tuesday, sources said, but neither Thompson nor Napolitano apparently told any of the Democrats on the committee that she was in the country — but wasn’t coming.

Politico
2/1/10