Saturday, February 04, 2006
Reuters: Senate intelligence chair supports warrantless wiretaps
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican chairman of the Senate intelligence committee on Friday endorsed's domestic surveillance program and said the White House was right to inform only a handful of lawmakers about its existence.
In a letter to the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Pat Roberts, left (news, bio, voting record), of Kansas expressed "strong support" for a program that has raised an outcry from Democrats and some Republicans who believe Bush may have overstepped his authority. The panel is to hear testimony Monday from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on the issue.
Roberts said he believes Bush's use of warrantless surveillance is legal, necessary, reasonable and within the president's powers.
"I am confident the president retains the constitutional authority to conduct 'warrantless' electronic surveillance," he said in the 19-page letter addressed to the judiciary panel's Republican chairman, Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record) of Pennsylvania, and its senior Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record) of Vermont.
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