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Senate Judiciary chair balks at White House bid for wiretapping subpoenas extension

[JURIST] A spokesman for US Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) reacted coolly [press statement] Friday to a White House bid to extend until after Labor Day the deadline for compliance with committee subpoenas [JURIST report; subpoena packets, PDF] for materials relating to the Bush administration's proffered legal justification for refusing to comply with earlier Congressional calls for documents on the warrantless domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive]. The spokesman said:

These are materials the Committee has been seeking for two years. The subpoenas have been outstanding for two months. The Committee has already extended the initial deadline. In requesting that last extension, the White House counsel suggested that the Administration would be ready to respond by August 1. The new deadline is three weeks past the time the White House Counsel had estimated was needed. The Committee looks forward to the Administration complying with the subpoenas
The Committee issued formal subpoenas for the surveillance documents on June 27, setting an initial compliance deadline of July 18, later extended to August 20 [letter, PDF]. White House counsel Fred Fielding has said that many of the documents subpoenaed could be subject to executive privilege and contained "extraordinarily sensitive national security information." AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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