DOD & DOJ Now Border on Contempt

The standoff between US Senators Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins has been addressed in many earlier postings.  Like the Hasan Defense Team, these Senators have been stymied at every turn when they requested material evidence pertinent to this case.  Although subpoenas were issued, both DOD and DOJ have thumbed their nose to these wholly legitimate Senatorial demands.  It should come as no surprise – senior Administration officials care about nothing except to promptly prosecute and secure a death penalty sentence in the court-martial of Major Hasan.  Readers are encouraged to review the full letter, together with all enclosures, that was sent – just yesterday – to Secretary Gates and Attorney General Holder.  It is a damning indictment about the process and it validates the frustration that has been expressed on this blog for several months.  Some highlights of the Lieberman-Collins letter follow:

  1. Senate subpoenas were issued after five months of unsuccessful efforts to obtain the Administration’s cooperation to secure the requested documents and interviews.
  2. More than one month after the Senate subpoenas were issued, DOD and DOJ have “failed to produce to the Committee all the responsive materials sought in the subpoenas or to assert any legal basis for withholding the materials.”
  3. That DOD and DOJ had filed to explain their “defiance of the subpoenas” or to offer “any supportable legal ground” for their refusal to produce the materials identified in the subpoenas.
  4. That DOD and DOJ had not property asserted executive privilege in this case inasmuch that “executive privilege may be formally involved to prevent disclosures to Congress only by the President personally.”
  5. The Departments have  offered “weak and unsupported explanations for why they would prefer not to provide the Senate Committee with the requested documents.
  6. neither Department have offered any “principled reason why DOD’s internal review was permitted to examine the transcripts and summaries of prosecutorial interviews by Confress is blocked from doing so.”

Senators Lieberman and Collins have fprmallywarned both Secretary Gates and Attorney General Holder that unless they respectfully “come into full compliance with [their] legal duties under the subpoenas by June 2, 2010 at 10a.m., the Senators will convene the Committee on the earliest date practicable to consider measures for enforcing the subpoenas, including holding [them] in contempt of Congress.

Against this background, nobody should question Defense assertions that Major Hasan is being denied pretrial procedural due process.

For a complete copy of the Senators’ letter to Gates and Holder, click here.  Hasan – 5.24.10 Letter to Gates and Holder

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