U.S. Sens. Schumer's and Kennedy's Oct. 15, 2003 letter to John Dion of Dept. of Justice

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U.S. Sens. Schumer's and Kennedy's Oct. 15, 2003 letter to John Dion of Dept. of Justice

 

October 15, 2003
John Dion, Chief, Counter-Espionage Section
Criminal Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Mr. Dion,

We write to express our concerns regarding apparent delays in the White House’s production of evidence to the Department of Justice in connection with the criminal probe into the disclosure of a covert CIA operative’s identity.

There have been three different public reports as to the deadline you set for the responses by White House staff to your request for evidence. First, on Friday, October 3, “an official familiar with” Justice’s letter to the White House stated the deadline for production of evidence was Friday, October 10. Then, the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, said at a briefing on Tuesday, October 7, that it would take two weeks for the White House to produce evidence to DOJ. Finally, an October 8 report in the Washington Post indicated that the deadline is October 17, with “intermediate deadlines” in the interim.

Given the President’s commitment to total cooperation with this investigation, any delay in disclosing evidence to the Department of Justice is difficult to understand. A serious national security breach appears to have been committed, reports have indicated that someone (or some people) within the White House is responsible, yet this investigation is moving at a snail’s pace. We hope you can understand why we are concerned.

Until the Attorney General recuses himself from this investigation and a special prosecutor is appointed, all reports of apparent delays and unusual beneficial treatment of the White House will be looked upon by the public with great skepticism. The conflicts of interest run too deep for there to be public confidence in the integrity of this investigation, especially when it appears a serious national security breach is being treated with kid gloves.

In the interest of improving public confidence in the integrity of this investigation we ask that you promptly address the following questions:

1. What was the original deadline or set of deadlines in your request for evidence transmitted to the White House on or about October 2?

2. Was the initial deadline or set of deadlines altered?

3. If so, what alterations have been made?

4. Please describe the process by which those deadlines were revised, who was involved in the decision to revise them, and the substance of all communications with superiors at the Department of Justice and anyone at the White House regarding revising deadlines. Please also identify with whom those communications took place.

5. If the White House sought any delay, please explain why the White House stated it wanted a delay and why such a delay was granted. Please describe the roles played by all superiors at the Department of Justice in approving any such delay.

6. Please describe the process by which decisions regarding this investigation are made. Specifically, under what circumstances are you required to or do you actually consult with superiors or anyone else at the Department of Justice? What role are Attorney General Ashcroft, Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum, Solicitor General Ted Olson, and Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Christopher Wray playing in the investigation?

We are addressing this letter to you because you have been announced as the person in charge of the White House leak and intimidation investigation. If you do not have authority to respond to this inquiry without consulting with a superior or with someone outside your section, please let us know immediately the name of the person or persons with authority to respond, so we may redirect this request to the proper individual or office.

We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible regarding these important questions.

Sincerely
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator

Edward M. Kennedy
United States Senator


 


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