Fight Over Access to Docs Could Lead to Constitutional Confrontation (and Impeachment?)...
UPDATE: Feingold Issues Statement, Says Subpeonas Have Bipartisan Support in Senate to Help End Stonewalling by White House Concerning 'Illegal Spying Program'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2007, 11:29am PT  

Blogged by Brad from Atlanta...

Just out from AP...

WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's office Wednesday for documents relating to President Bush's warrant-free eavesdropping program.

Also named in subpoenas signed by committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., were the Justice Department and the National Security Council.

The committee wants documents that might shed light on internal squabbles within the administration over the legality of the program, said a congressional official speaking on condition of anonymity because the subpoenas had not been made public.

As TPM Muckraker notes in their breaking coverage, "The trigger is pulled...Get ready for a huge court fight."

RAW STORY has a statement from Sen. Leahy concerning the subpoenas.

And as Joseph Cannon guest blogged here yesterday, a subpoena was/is needed to begin the impeachment process. Any subpeona issued to Cheney's office and/or the White House. Well, we now have one.

"If Cheney or any of his underlings refuse to comply with a single subpoena --- and that's a very good bet --- he becomes instantly impeachable, on the same grounds that brought down Nixon," wrote Cannon, who knows the topic well.

Stay tuned. It may be a busy summer...

UPDATE 12:06pm PT: In a statement sent to The BRAD BLOG (posted in full below) Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says "After a year and a half of stonewalling by the Administration...The bipartisan support for issuing these subpoenas demonstrates that both Democrats and Republicans are fed up with the misleading statements from the Attorney General and the Administration about this illegal program."

Feingold's complete brief statement follows below...

For Immediate Release – June 27, 2007

Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold
On the Senate Judiciary Committee Issuing Subpoenas Relating to the NSA Warrantless Wiretapping Program

Washington DC – U.S. Senator Russ Feingold issued the following statement after the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas for legal analysis and other documents concerning the NSA warrantless wiretapping program that began shortly after 9/11 and was first revealed to the public in December 2005.

“It has been more than a year and a half since it was first disclosed that the President authorized an illegal warrantless wiretapping program. After a year and a half of stonewalling by the Administration, the Judiciary Committee is finally taking appropriate action by issuing subpoenas for information that will tell us how and why high-ranking officials authorized this illegal program. The bipartisan support for issuing these subpoenas demonstrates that both Democrats and Republicans are fed up with the misleading statements from the Attorney General and the Administration about this illegal program.

Though most members of the Committee have been kept in the dark about the program, the Administration has asked us to overhaul the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It would be wrong for this committee to even consider legislation making wholesale changes to the FISA statute without access to information about how the executive branch and the judicial branch interpret that law. These subpoenas will help make sure that Congress finally starts getting the answers it deserves.”