Skip to comments.Senate Dems Pressure DOJ on CIA Leak Probe
Posted on 12/30/2003 10:20:05 AM PST by Jeff Gannon
WASHINGTON (Talon News) -- Last week Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, questioned the commitment of the administration and the Justice Department to pursue the investigation into the alleged leak of a CIA officer's identity earlier in the year.
In a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft, the pair asked that he provide "an overall status of the investigation, including the number of people the Justice Department has interviewed, the number of briefings you have received, the general types of information you are briefed on, what conditions you have placed on the scope of these briefings to ensure the independence of this investigation, and whether you have discussed this case with senior Administration officials outside the Justice Department."
Daschle and Levin chastised their former Senate colleague for his "continued refusal to name a special counsel, despite the possible involvement of senior Administration officials, and the appearance of a conflict of interest."
Additionally, they suggested that absence of a special counsel necessitated that "the Congress and the American people be assured that this case is being thoroughly pursued free of partisan influence and you are personally committed to achieving a prompt, successful conclusion."
FBI investigators are continuing to sift through thousands of documents provided by White House staffers and are interviewing administration officials to determine how columnist Robert Novak learned of Valerie Plame's identity. Novak has repeatedly denied that her name was passed with him to expose a covert operative.
Meanwhile, investigations into several leaks in the Senate have sputtered. The writer of a memo prepared for Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) of the Senate Intelligence Committee that outlined a Democrat plan to use classified information gathered by the committee against President Bush in the 2004 election has yet to be identified.
Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) has halted all committee activity until the memo's author comes forward and Democrats disavow the plan and issue an apology.
Sen. Zell Miller (D-GA) blasted those responsible for the memo, saying, "If what has happened here is not treason, it is its first cousin. The ones responsible -- be they staff or elected or both -- should be dealt with quickly and severely sending a lesson to all that this kind of action will not be tolerated, ignored or excused."
A series of memos from the Judiciary Committee revealed Democrat strategy for defeating judicial nominees. In one of the documents, a staffer indicates that Elaine Jones of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund asked Democrats on the committee to postpone hearings on judges for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals until a decision was rendered in the University of Michigan affirmative action case.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution noted that the memorandum expressed concern about the propriety of scheduling hearings based on the resolution of a particular case.
"The memo writer appears to have understood that such tactics were highly improper but chose to proceed with those plans anyway," Cornyn said.
A spokesman for the Senate Ethics Committee would neither confirm nor deny that investigations into the memo leaks have been initiated. He pointed out that the Committee's activities are generally conducted in secret.
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What??? Where's the article on this? LOLOL
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