Oversight Committee Approves Subpoenas for RNC, Secretary Rice

April 25, 2007
Having postponed debate on the subpoena for former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card regarding the leaking of covert CIA Agent Valerie Plame's identity pending negotiations with White House Counsel Fred Fielding, and having cancelled the subpoena vote for documents regarding White House dealings with MZM in light of new White House responsiveness, the Oversight Committee today approved three subpoenas. Two were for emails and documents from the RNC regarding White House records and improper political use of federal agencies and one was for testimony from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice regarding the claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger. Both subpoenas come after repeated formal requests to which the RNC has been largely unresponsive and to which Secretary Rice has been completely unresponsive.

The committee first debated a subpoena asking the RNC to provide answers to basic questions about the use of RNC e-mail accounts by White House officials, with possible testimony from RNC Chairman Mike Duncan; Chairman Waxman's opening remarks on that subpoena can be found here (pdf). The second subpoena was for RNC documents related to possible violations of the Presidential Records Act and the Hatch Act by White House officials related to a powerpoint presentation discussed in a previous hearing on allegations of corruption at the GSA.

Chairman Henry Waxman opens debate on the second subpoena for the RNC:

Chairman Waxman:

"Despite the possible violation of federal law inherent in this event, this presentation apparently wasn't a one-time occurence. A White House spokesperson described the GSA briefing as a regular communication from the White House to political appointees. And a press report: Karl Rove and his top aides have been giving similar presentations to political appointees on a regular basis throughout the entire six years of the Bush Administration."

Chairman Henry Waxman opens debate on the subpoena for the testimony of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice regarding the fabricated claim that Iraq sought uranium from Niger and other issues:

Chairman Waxman:

"The Administration's claim that Iraq could pose a nuclear threat was at the center of its case for war. Indeed this assertion was key to the decisions of many Members of Congress, including myself, to support the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. It therefore raised enormously serious questions when Congress and the public learned that there were flaws, not just minor ones but serious flaws, with the intelligence underpinning the Administration's nuclear case."