2 top CIA officials may be subpoenaed by House panel

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – The House Intelligence Committee threatened on Wednesday to subpoena two top CIA officials to testify about the destruction of interrogation videotapes, rejecting a Bush administration request that the panel’s inquiry be deferred while the executive branch investigates. Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said he wants acting CIA general counsel John Rizzo and Jose Rodriguez, the former head of the National Clandestine Service, to testify to the committee on Jan. 16. Rodriguez is the official who directed that the tapes, which document the harsh interrogation of two al-Qaida suspects in 2002, be destroyed. Reyes told reporters the CIA had agreed to begin providing documents regarding the 2005 destruction of the tapes this week. If that doesn’t happen, the committee will subpoena them, too, he said. The document request includes records related to the 9/11 Commission and to al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, whose attorneys were seeking interrogation videos. The committee’s announcement is another sign of increasing tensions between Congress, the judiciary and the White House over the interrogation tapes. Congressional overseers are angry they were not fully informed of the tapes and their destruction. A federal judge has summoned Justice Department lawyers to his courtroom Friday to determine whether the destruction of the tapes violated a court order. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champReyes also wants the CIA to make available CIA attorneys Steve Hermes, Robert Eatinger, Elizabeth Vogt and John McPherson to testify before the committee. Former CIA directors Porter Goss and George Tenet, former deputy director of operations James L. Pavitt, and former general counsel Scott Muller are also on his list. Reyes’ threat of subpoenas was triggered by a letter the Justice Department and the CIA inspector general sent to his committee on Friday. It asked the committee to delay its investigation to avoid interfering with an ongoing preliminary inquiry by those two agencies. Reyes and the committee’s top Republican, Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, had asked for immediate delivery of all documents, cables and records regarding the taping of detainee interrogations, as well as for testimony from Rizzo and Rodriguez at a planned Tuesday hearing. The officials did not come and the documents were not provided. Reyes said the Justice Department letter chilled the CIA’s willingness to comply with the committee’s requests for information and witnesses. That has since been clarified, he said.last_img

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