On May 21, the Senate Judiciary Committee made at least its ninth formal request for documents related to President Bush’s warrantless domestic surveillance program. Committee chiefs Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Arlen Specter (D-PA) gave Alberto Gonzales until June 5 to provide answers. He sent nothing. Leahy said today that the Justice Dept. stonewalling was “unacceptable and shows, yet again, its disdain for any kind of constitutional oversight of its activities.” (More on the NSA program in today’s Progress Report.)
Read Leahy’s full statement:
Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.,
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
June 8, 2007
“This Justice Department’s refusal to provide the material requested by the Committee is unacceptable and shows, yet again, its disdain for any kind of constitutional oversight of its activities.
“The warrantless wiretapping program has operated for over five years outside of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and without the approval of the FISA Court. The Committee has continued to ask for the legal justification for this sweeping and secret program, and has continually been rebuffed by inadequate and at times, misleading, responses from this Justice Department. The information we have requested has been specific to the legal justification for this program and is firmly within the Committee’s oversight jurisdiction.
“The Justice Department’s continued frustration of this Committee’s attempts to carry out its constitutional oversight function is unfortunate. We will continue in our pursuit of this information until we get it, so that we can carry out our constitutional duties.”