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Subcommittee Authorizes Judiciary Committee to Subpoena Attorney General for Documents

June 26, 2008
Press Release

Washington, DC -- The Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law (CAL), chaired by Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, today voted 5-2 on a voice vote to authorize full committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) to issue a subpoena to Attorney General Michael Mukasey for documents in his possession. The documents include records concerning the Valerie Plame Wilson investigation, allegations of selective prosecution, the New Hampshire phone jamming scandal, and the replacement of Minnesota’s U.S. Attorney. The Committee is also requesting Office of Legal Counsel memos and enforcement reports from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

“The Department of Justice is trying to run out the clock on congressional investigations of possible misconduct,” Congresswoman Linda Sánchez said. “We have taken this step because the Department has indicated that it will not voluntarily comply with Congress’ constitutionally mandated oversight role. There are questions in various investigations that the American people deserve to have answered.”

Congresswoman Sánchez and Chairman Conyers issued joint letters on May 9, 2008 and June 18, 2008, asking the Department to comply with the Judiciary Committee’s outstanding requests. Some of these requests are more than a year old. The June 18 letter indicated Congresswoman Sánchez and Chairman Conyers were open to negotiating a schedule for the delivery of documents, which would have allowed the Department ample time to prepare comprehensive reports. The Department did not respond to the June 18 letter.

“We have been reasonable with the Attorney General, but all he has done is give us the brush-off. Apparently, things have not changed that much at the Department,” Congresswoman Sánchez said. “It reminds me of the saying, ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss.’”

After the Subcommittee authorizes a subpoena, it can be issued by Chairman Conyers at any time. The subpoena authorization remains valid for the remainder of the congressional term.