21 August 2007

White House Misses Subpoena Deadline

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) publicly announced that the White House had missed its deadline to turn over subpoenaed documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the National Security Agency’s illegal eavesdropping program. The committee had already agreed to delay the original July 18th deadline.

Leahy pointed out that these subpoenas were passed by broad bipartisan votes and that there were no close votes. Senator Arlen Specter, who had chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 109th Congress, previously attempted to question the legality of the program. Vice President Cheney personally barred him from issuing subpoenas:

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.

Leahy responds to the claims that the Office of the Vice President is not part of the Executive Office of the President by saying,

"Well, that’s wrong. … [O]h, incidentally, at least this morning, as I left Vermont, I checked the White House Web site. And even their own Web site, this morning, at least, says that the Executive Office — that the vice president is part of the Executive Office of the President.”

Seems funny (not ha ha) that they would even try to claim such things.

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