Joe Lieberman Subpoenas Obama Administration
It’s highly unusual for a Member of Congress to issue a subpoena to a president of the same political party (although, in this case the member campaigned for and supported the opposition during the election). However, Joe Lieberman is accusing the Obama administration of stalling on its investigation into the shootings at Fort Hood. Lieberman says the Departments of Defense and Justice have rejected requests for documents for five months. Lieberman, as chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, issued the subpoena along with ranking member Susan Collins of Maine, to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Attorney General Eric Holder.
“Unfortunately, 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. … We fully expect that your departments will fulfill their legal obligation under these subpoenas and comply by the appointed time.”
“Obviously, we’re open to discussions before then, but we think our request is quite reasonable,” Lieberman told reporters on Monday.
The Pentagon believes releasing the information would interfere with the military justice process and jeopardize the prosecution of accused killer Maj. Nidal Hasan. The Defense Department offered an alternative that was not acceptable to Lieberman and Collins.
…the Department of Defense has tried to offer the panel alternatives, particularly with regard to Hasan’s personnel file and potential witnesses in his trial. Pentagon officials said they tried to provide the committee with the names of people in the chain of command, who would not be potential witnesses, but would have pertinent information. The panel rejected that.
Defense continues to work on achieving a solution, but Senator Lieberman appears intent on pushing the issue.
“We will continue to cooperate with the committee in every way, with that single caveat that whatever we provide does not impact our ability to prosecute,” said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman. “The Department has and continues to cooperate with Congress while ensuring the integrity of both our own investigation as well as the criminal investigation and prosecution of Nidal Hasan.”Click here for reuse options!
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