Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Senate Committee To Vote on NSA Subpoenas
There could be an important development today in the attempt to establish congressional oversight of the extra-legal NSA warrantless surveillance program (CATCH-ALL).
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote Thursday on whether to authorize subpoenas to gain access to Justice Department documents related to the National Security Agency's domestic wiretapping program, including a series of secret legal opinions.
The vote comes a week after Democratic leaders on a House Judiciary subcommittee threatened to issue subpoenas for the same documents.
The chairman of the Senate committee, Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, and its ranking Republican, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, wrote to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales on May 21 seeking access to the documents and asked for a response by June 5. The panel will vote on whether to authorize Mr. Leahy to issue subpoenas for the documents He could decide to subpoena the documents or to use that power as leverage with the Justice Department.