Patrick Leahy is the senior United States Senator from Vermont and a member of the Democratic Party.
He is the first and only elected Democratic United States Senator in Vermont's history. He is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy is the second most senior U.S. Senator, and second longest-serving Democrat in the U.S. Senate having served since 1975.
Leahy was first elected to the Senate in 1974. then reelected in 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004, and 2010.
Senator Patrick "Leaky Leahy" is probably best known for the time he leaked classified documents during the Iran-Contra hearings in Washington. Here are just a few highlights:
- Leaky Leahy actually threatened to sabotage classified strategies he didn't like.
- Leahy "inadvertently" disclosed top secret communications intercepts during a 1985 TV interview.
- That intercept made possible the capture of the terrorist who hijacked the cruise shop Achille Lauro.
- Leahy's leak cost the life of at least one Egyptian operative involved in the operation.
- In July 1987, Leahy leaked secret information about Reagan's plan to topple Mulhmar Gaddhafi.
- U.S. intelligence officials said Leahy sent a written threat to expose the operation.
- Weeks later, news of the secret plan turned up in the Washington Post, causing it to be aborted.
- A year later, as the Senate was preparing to hold hearings on the Iran-Contra scandal, Leahy had to resign his Intelligence Committee post after he was caught leaking secret information to a reporter.
Leahy's Iran-Contra leak was considered to be one of the most serious breaches of secrecy in the Intelligence Committee's 10-year history.
On June 22, 2004, Leahy and Vice President Dick Cheney participated in the US Senate class photo. After the vote, Cheney was only talking to Republicans. When Leahy asked him to come over and talk to the Democrats, Cheney upbraided Leahy for the Senator's recent excoriations of Halliburton's activities in Iraq.
At the end of the exchange, Cheney told Leahy, "Go fuck yourself."