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If This Is Turned Down and They Don't Use a Subpoena, We Have No Government Left
Twenty two members of House Judiciary Committee demand NSA spy docs
By RAW STORY
Twenty two Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee wrote Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Wednesday demanding that he turned over documents pertaining to the Bush Administration's warrantless surveillance program, RAW STORY has learned. To date, only two Committee members have received access to the documents.
The text of their letter follows.
Dear Mr. Gonzales: We write in an effort to obtain a full briefing of members of the House Judiciary Committee concerning the legal orders and related materials concerning the president's warrantless wiretapping program. Notwithstanding your proposal to allow Chairman Conyers to review these materials, it really is imperative that all members of the Judiciary Committee have access to them so that members may perform their oversight function under the law. There is little point in allowing only the Chair and Ranking Member to review these materials, when it is the entire committee that has oversight responsibility.
In a January 19, 2007, letter, many of us requested that you arrange a classified briefing of all of the Members of the House Judiciary Committee, along with selected staff with appropriate security clearance, concerning the Administration's new domestic wiretapping program referred to in your January 17th letter to House and Senate members. In that same January 19th letter, we also requested that you provide us with copies of the new court orders, under classified cover, so that we may be better informed on the new program, noting that the Chief Judge of the FISC, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, has no objection to the FISC orders being released to us in that manner. As of today, there has been no response to our requests.
Important questions regarding the FISA program remain unanswered and responses to our requests are critical in order for the Judiciary Committee to properly evaluate the efficacy and legitimacy of the warrantless surveillance program. We would appreciate your prompt responses to today's renewed requests.
John Conyers, Jr., Rick Boucher, Jerrold Nadler, Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, Melvin L. Watt, Zoe Lofgren, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Maxine Waters, Martin T. Meehan, Bill Delahunt, Robert Wexler, Linda T. Sanchez, Steve Cohen, Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr., Luis V. Gutierrez, Brad Sherman, Anthony D. Weiner, Adam B. Schiff, Artur Davis, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Keith Ellison