The CIA's declassification of its "family jewels" -- decades-old files on scandals past -- may have attracted a ton of attention, but the Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon subpoenaed the Bush administration's family jewels: information on the origin and execution of President Bush's warrantless surveillance program. Circle July 18 on your calendars -- that's the compliance deadline. If it's not met, the committee will seek explanatory testimony from White House chief of staff Josh Bolton, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Cheney chief of staff David Addington, and National Security Counsel executive director V. Philip Lago.
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The committee wants a ton of material: all documents from September 11, 2001 on the program's legality; the administration's filings to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court; deals reached between the administration and "telecommunications companies, internet service providers, equipment manufacturers, or data processors" on potential liability to these companies for complying with the program; everything from the now-famous Comey episode; and more. If the administration wants to assert privilege over any of the subpoenaed material or testimony, it must specify the basis of that assertion "in sufficient detail to ascertain the validity of the claim," rather than relying on blanket claims of congressional impertinence.