Today in a press briefing, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) revealed that the White House had missed its 2:30 PM deadline to turn over documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding legal justifications for the National Security Agency's eavesdropping program. The Committee had already pushed back the original July 18 deadline twice after the White House requested more time.
Question: Is your impression they're dragging their feet?
Leahy: Well, you know, a lot of these questions were asked by the former chairman a couple years ago, and we haven't gotten an answer.
In fact, we were about to issue subpoenas then and one of the senators came to our meeting and said that the vice president had met with the Republican senators and told them they were not allowed to issue subpoenas.
Not quite sure that's my understanding of the separation of powers, but it seemed to work at that time. Now have an issue. And interestingly enough, I pointed out that every single one of these subpoenas, they have been issued by a bipartisan vote. There have been no close votes on them.
So I would hope they'd do it. And, if not, the full Judiciary Committee will have to sit down and determine whether to seek contempt from the full Senate.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Leahy: "Time Is Up" (with video)
truthout.org, with video from C_SPAN: