The House Judiciary Committee has postponed its meeting to authorize the issuance of a subpoena to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for documents pertaining to the legal justification of drone strikes on alleged terrorists overseas, including drone strikes against U.S. citizens. Only after the House Judiciary Committee noticed a subpoena did DOJ agree to provide the requested documents to the Committee. Once arrangements are made for viewing the documents, the Committee will cancel the meeting to authorize the subpoena. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte released the statement below following DOJ's decision to provide the Committee the legal documents:
"I am pleased the Justice Department has finally agreed to hand over legal documents it relied on to justify the Obama Administration's policy regarding the targeted killing of alleged terrorists overseas, including drone strikes against Americans. It's unfortunate that it took a subpoena notice for the Department to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee. The House Judiciary Committee is charged with oversight over the Justice Department and U.S. Constitution and it is imperative that we explore the issues raised by the Administration's policy."
Background: Although some of these documents had been provided to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Obama Administration refused to provide them to the House Judiciary Committee, which is charged with oversight of the Justice Department and the U.S. Constitution. In early February, a bipartisan group of top lawmakers from the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to President Obama requesting that the Committee be granted the opportunity to review all Justice Department documents pertaining to the legal justification of drone strikes on Americans overseas. Last week, Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers renewed this request in a letter to President Obama and warned him that if arrangements for viewing the legal documents were not made by Thursday, April 11, the Committee would have no choice but to move forward with issuance of subpoenas for the documents.