House Judiciary Committee Gets Ready To Subpoena Mukasey

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It looks like the House Judiciary Committee will finally play hardball with Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

Committee chairman John Conyers (D-MI) has been requesting a range of documents from DOJ for a long time. Some of the issues date back as far as Election Day 2002, when Republicans in New Hampshire jammed the phone lines for a Democratic get-out-the-vote call bank, an effort one GOP operative said was modeled on the U.S. Marines tactic of jamming the enemies communications.

Now Conyers has the authority to subpoena that stack of records after the subcommittee on commercial and administrative law took a vote today and gave him the formal go-ahead.

They’re looking for records of interviews from the DOJ investigation into who leaked the identify of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, documents that may shed light on allegations of selective prosecution, and the details behind the replacement of Minnesota’s U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose. The committee is also requesting Office of Legal Counsel memos and enforcement reports from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Speaking of the Civil Rights Division, Conyers and several other lawmakers today sent a letter to Mukasey urging stop stonewalling a GAO investigation of the Civil Rights Division. Amid allegations that political pressures were shifting the division’s priorities, Congress in March 2007 requested the Government Accountability Office conduct an investigation. Lawmakers say DOJ has not provided the documents and data needed to fully analyze the division’s enforcement work.

The lawmakers also said they had “received reports that DOJ officials have removed key documents from files, claiming that GAO does not have a right to access predecisional or deliberative information that sets forth the Division’s rationale on whether or not to pursue a case.”

“We are troubled by the lack of transparency and refusal of the Department to cooperate fully with GAO’s investigation,” the lawmakers wrote in today’s letter.

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