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Archive of entries posted on May 2009

How the Senate Ethics Committee (and Everybody Else) Got Access to the Burris Transcript

           Since Watergate, congressional committees have from time to time sought access to confidential federal law enforcement information protected by either the rules of grand jury secrecy or by statutory limitations on disclosure of intercepted wire or oral communications.  In some cases the committee will apply directly to the court.  For example, during the impeachment proceedings [...]

A Response to “Congress’s Torture Bubble”

          Vicki Divoll, former counsel to the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times this week entitled “Congress’s Torture Bubble,” in which she discusses limitations on the interrogation briefings provided to Congress from September 2002 onward.  Although Divoll covers many of the legal issues [...]

Restricted Intelligence Briefings and the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2009

          My attention has been called to Section 502 of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2009 (H.R. 5959), which passed the House last year (but never became law).  This provision would have amended the National Security Act of 1947 to provide a procedure governing situations where the President decides to disclose certain highly sensitive intelligence [...]

What the Presence of Congressional Staff Tells Us About the Interrogation Briefings

            Documents released by the CIA in the past few days indicate that congressional staff attended the key briefings given Congress with regard to “enhanced interrogation techniques” used on terrorist detainees.  In particular, a September 4, 2002 briefing to Porter Goss and Nancy Pelosi, then the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select [...]

Hill Report on the Renzi Case

           The Hill reports that the judge (presumably referring to Magistrate Velasco) in the Renzi case has scheduled a special hearing to determine whether prosecutors improperly listened to privileged attorney-client communications captured during the wiretap of Renzi’s cell phone.  As the article notes, this is a separate matter from the Speech or Debate issues regarding [...]