Congress and the Justice Department didn’t play together very nice last year. And there may be more of that to come.
For the record, just because Michael Mukasey has ordered a criminal investigation into the CIA’s torture tapes, lawmakers want everyone to know that Congress isn’t backing down.
That’s the word from Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), who says in a statement:
“We… have an obligation to continue our own congressional investigation and that is exactly what we will do.
âOur negotiations with the CIA and DOJ over the scope of our investigation are ongoing. I fully expect their continued cooperation, including relevant testimony and documents, so that the Committee can thoroughly review and publicly report on all actions related to the destruction of the tapes.â
And House intel chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), whose probe has been much more aggressive, says the same:
“I am pleased to see that the Attorney General is taking this issue seriously. At the same time, I also believe that there must be an independent congressional review of this matter. For that reason, the House Intelligence Committee launched an official committee investigation on December 10, 2007, and our plan is to move forward with that investigation.”
And Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy says that he’s going to grill Mukasey the next time he gets a chance:
“I remain concerned that the constitutional oversight role of Congress has been ignored in the discovery and destruction of these tapes. I look forward to hearing further from Attorney General Mukasey when he comes before the Judiciary Committee this year. I hope the Justice Department will cooperate with Congress as it investigates this serious matter.”