Monday, February 20, 2006

WaPo on White House Wiretap Fears

Today's must-read wiretaps article comes from Charles Babington at the Washington Post. It outlines recent efforts by the White House to sideline congressional inquiries into the secret NSA warrantless wiretap program. As both the House and Senate intelligence panels met to consider investigations, White House officials including Chief of Staff Andy Card called Republicans known to have concerns about the wiretapping, including Senators Olympia Snowe (ME) and Chuck Hagel (NE).

According to sources (from outside Snowe's office), the phone call from card made Snowe less inclined to support the White House rather than more; she and Hagel told committee chairman Pat Roberts that if the Democratic-backed motion to launch an investigation into the program were brought up, they would support it. This is apparently what prompted Roberts to adjourn last week's meeting (as I discussed Friday) - not a victory for the Administration, but an impending defeat.

Things are about to get very, very interesting.

Joe Gandelman has a good post over at TMV on this article and an accompanying one from the NYT.


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