House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob today noticed a 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. Although some of these documents have been provided to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Obama Administration has yet to provide them to the House Judiciary Committee, which is charged with oversight of the Justice Department and the U.S. Constitution. The House Judiciary Committee will meet on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 2141 Rayburn to authorize the subpoena.
Chairman Goodlatte released the following statement in advance of Wednesday's meeting:
"The House Judiciary Committee has a constitutional duty to examine the legal documents justifying the Obama Administration's policy regarding the targeted killing of alleged terrorists overseas, including drone strikes against Americans. There is no good reason that the Committee's bipartisan request should go unanswered. The Administration's policy raises serious questions about the role of due process during wartime when the enemy may be a U.S. citizen and the Committee must explore these issues and ensure Americans' constitutional rights are protected at all times."
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.