Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The continued stonewalling by the White House on releasing documents to Senate Homeland Security Chairman Joe Lieberman led to the latter finally issuing a subpoena for the documents necessary to pursue a congressional investigation. Lieberman gave the White House a deadline of April 19th which it predictably ignored.

Lieberman and ranking Republican on the committee, Susan Collins have taken the next step of issuing subpoenas for the documents. I wrote about my take on the likelihood of Lieberman and Collins going to the mat and winning this battle here.

Via Reuters:
Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, an independent, and Susan Collins, the panel's top Republican, took the action after the departments of Justice and Defense failed to provide the materials by Monday's deadline.

The two senators have been trying for months to obtain documents and be provided access to witnesses that they say are critical to their investigation of the shooting spree at Fort Hood in November that ended with 13 soldiers killed and dozens wounded.
Pardon my skepticism but this White House has made stonewalling an art form, the Justice Department in particular. Let's not forget Walpin-gate or Jobsgate. This doesn't even account for how Holder's DOJ handled the Black Panther case in Philadelphia.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates didn't back down when asked about the threat of a subpoena last week. Since the White House did not respond by Lieberman's deadline, the latter has issued subpoenas along with a new deadline:
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, who heads the Justice Department, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Lieberman and Collins wrote: "It is impossible for us to avoid reaching the conclusion that the departments simply do not want to cooperate with our investigation."

"It is with great disappointment and reluctance that we have directed service of subpoenas to you which demand disclosure of the requested information by Monday, April 26, 2010," they added.
Yes, it takes a degree of fortitude to issue a subpoena but this is still the blustering phase. Lieberman is trying to do the right thing here but with this administration, a subpoena is increasingly looking like just another piece of paper to ignore.

I'd love to think that the tandem of Lieberman and Collins will be able to force the White House into compliance but am under no illusion they will. Lieberman has put himself in a bit of a spot with this subpoena. If he's outrightly ignored and dismissed, he's effectively neutered as chairman of the committee for good. I wouldn't be surprised to see him reach some sort of compromise where he gets the White House to cough up something only moderately significant just to make it look like his subpoena was effective in return for backing off and letting the issue fade. To Lieberman's credit, this issue is definitely not welcome news to an administration that continues to rack up very questionable practices.

h/t to Free Republic

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