Debates, Votes to be Broadcast Live on the Net
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2005, 1:51pm PT  

Announcing that it is "time for Congress to exercise its duty to oversee the Executive Branch," the ranking minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers has just released a press statement announcing that four different U.S. House Committees will be voting on resolutions within the next week to request information on the outing of covert CIA operative, Valerie Plame.

Conyers describes the issue as a matter of "criminal and ethical misconduct" done "for political reasons, to retaliate against the operative's husband for successfully challenging the President's claim that Iraq had sought nuclear materials in Africa."

The resolutions will be forced to come to a vote in the House Judiciary, International Relations, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Armed Services Committee.

Conyers also calls former Attorney General John Ashcroft on the carpet for initially dragging his feet on the investigation and for remaining involved in it as it moved forward despite Ashcroft's "long-standing ties to Karl Rove."

UPDATE: On ConyersBlog, he also adds this:

We have no illusions that the Republicans in Congress are suddenly going to reverse course and start demanding accountability on this, or any other matter, that involves Bush Administration misconduct that is damaging to the nation. However, starting tommorrow, they will have to go on record and explain their votes defending criminal activity on the part of high ranking officials. That is the beginning of congressional accountability.

The complete press release, along with scheduled dates and Internet URL's for watching and/or listening to the debates on the four separate resolutions in the four separate House committees follow...

For Immediate Release:
September 13, 2005

4 House Committees to Vote on Demanding CIA Leak Documents from Cabinet Departments

Watch and Listen Live on the Internet

Over the next week, 4 House Committees are expected to vote on resolutions requesting information on the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson in apparent retaliation for Ambassador Wilson's truth-telling about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Most of these markups will be broadcast live on the Internet. The following is a listing of the expected markup times and Internet sites for webcasting:

1. House Judiciary Committee, Wednesday, September 14, 10 AM, ET, 2141 Rayburn Building. Simulcast at: http://judiciary.house.gov/.

2. House International Relations Committee, Wednesday: 10:30 AM, ET, Simulcast at http://wwwc.house.gov/international_relations/

3. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence: Thursday, September 15, 1 PM ET. closed to public

4. House Armed Services Committee, Time TBA, Tuesday, September 20, Simulcast at http://www.house.gov/hasc/schedules/

Conyers stated: "This resolution is necessary because the Bush administration refuses to police itself in the midst of criminal and ethical misconduct. In July 2003, over two years ago, a Bush administration official committed one of the most serious breaches of national security in recent history by disclosing to the press the identity of an undercover CIA operative. Even worse, it likely was done for political reasons, to retaliate against the operative's husband for successfully challenging the President's claim that Iraq had sought nuclear materials in Africa.

"The purpose of this resolution is to get to the bottom of what happened and why the Justice Department slow-walked the investigation at the beginning. We know that, despite urgent pleas from the CIA for a criminal investigation into the leaker, the Justice Department and White House dragged their feet. Then-Attorney General Ashcroft insisted on private briefings on the status despite his long-standing ties to Karl Rove, a person involved in the investigation.

"It is time for Congress to exercise its duty to oversee the Executive Branch."

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