Legal News - US House committee subpoenas CIA leak documents

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The US House Judiciary Committee has issued a subpoena to Attorney General Michael Mukasey for documents relating to the Valerie Plame leak scandal and other Committee investigations. The Committee specifically requested transcripts of interviews with US President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and five White House aides, all of whom were questioned during the criminal investigation into the leak. In addition, the Committee is seeking all unclassified documents relating to legal counsel the Administration received on detainee interrogation methods and the legal ramifications of domestic counter-terrorism efforts. The Committee also asked for documents relating to the firing of a US attorney, voters' rights investigations, and selective prosecution allegations. Concluding that a subpoena was the only way for the Committee to obtain the requested documents, chariman John Conyers (D-Mich) Friday wrote:

Although the Committee seeks to obtain information necessary for its oversight responsibilities cooperatively whenever possible, utilizing subpoenas as a last resort, we have concluded that a subpoena is warranted in this instance in light of our many prior requests for these documents. We trust that this subpoena will now facilitate the prompt production of the requested documents.

The Committee gave Mukasey until July 7 to produce the documents.

The Committee indicated that this is the latest of several attempts by House bodies to obtain documents and testimony related to these investigations. In May, the Committee voted to issue a subpoena to compel Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff David Addington to testify about Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel memorandum authorizing a wide range of interrogation methods to be used against suspected terrorists. In January, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform sought transcripts of the interviews conducted with the CIA leak investigation, but was unsuccessful in obtaining them.

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