BlueBloggin

Taking Texas And The Nation Back

Subpoenas Sent To White House And Cheney’s office

Posted by nytexan on June 27, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney’s office Wednesday for documents relating to President Bush’s warrant-free eavesdropping program.

Also named in subpoenas signed by committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, were the Justice Department and the National Security Council.

The committee wants documents that might shed light on internal disputes within the administration over the legality of the program.

“Our attempts to obtain information through testimony of administration witnesses have been met with a consistent pattern of evasion and misdirection,” Leahy said in his cover letters for the subpoenas. “There is no legitimate argument for withholding the requested materials from this committee.”

Leahy’s committee and its counterpart in the House have issued the subpoenas as part of a sweeping look at how much influence the White House exerts over the Justice Department and its chief, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The probe, in its sixth month, began with an investigation into whether administration officials ordered the firings of eight federal prosecutors, for political reasons.

But with senators of both parties already concerned about the constitutionality of the administration’s efforts to root out terrorism suspects in the United States, the committee shifted to the broader question of Gonzales’ stewardship of Justice and, in particular, his willingness to permit the wiretapping program.

Piquing the committee’s interest was vivid testimony last month by former Deputy Attorney General James Comey about the extent of the White House’s effort to override the Justice Department’s objections to the program in 2004.

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