Wiretap Inquiry Is Rejected
AP | February 28 2006
The White House on Monday rejected a call by more than a dozen House Democrats for a special counsel to investigate the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping program.
President Bush's spokesman, Scott McClellan, said those Democrats should instead spend their time investigating the source of the unauthorized disclosure of the classified program, which "has given the enemy some of our playbook."
"I really don't think there's any basis for a special counsel," McClellan said.
In a letter released Monday, 18 House Democrats told Bush that Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales should appoint a special counsel. They said the surveillance of terrorism suspects in the United States must be done within U.S. law, but complained that their efforts to get answers to legal and factual questions about the program had been stymied, "generally based on the feeblest of excuses."
"If the effort to prevent vigorous and appropriate investigation succeeds, we fear the inexorable conclusion will be that these executive branch agencies hold themselves above the law and accountable to no one," wrote the lawmakers, led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren of San Jose, a member of the Judiciary and Homeland Security committees.
Lawmakers' requests for Justice or Defense department inquiries have been denied.