US Attorney General: Will Give Congress Domestic Spy Program Documents January 31, 2007Posted by notapundit in Congress, Politics, US News.
WASHINGTON (AP)–Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Wednesday said he will turn over secret documents detailing the government’s domestic spying program, ending a two-week standoff with the Senate Judiciary Committee over surveillance targeting terror suspects.
“It’s never been the case where we said we would never provide the access,” Gonzales told reporters.
“We’d obviously be concerned about (how) the public disclosure may jeopardize the national security of our country,” he said. “But we’re working with the Congress to provide the information that it needs.”
The documents held by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court – including investigators’ applications for permission to spy and judges’ orders – will be given to some lawmakers as early as Wednesday.
Gonzales said the documents would not be released publicly. “We’re talking about highly classified discussions about highly classified actions of the United States government,” the attorney general said.
The records will be given to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who two weeks ago lambasted Gonzales for refusing to turn over documents that even the FISA Court’s presiding judge had no objection to releasing.
The documents also will be available to lawmakers and staffers on the House and Senate intelligence committees. These people already were cleared to receive details about the controversial spy program.