Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bush White House to be subpoenaed by wiretap lawyers

Two attorneys representing claimants in a lawsuit over wiretapping by the National Security Agency will subpoena the White House today.

Bruce Afran and Carl Mayer, who represent hundreds of plaintiffs in lawsuits against Verizon, AT&T, and the US Government, will announnce today that they are serving both the Bush administration and Verizon with subpoenas.
The announcement is due to arrive at 4:30 PM, outside of Verizon headquarters in New York.
The subpoenas come on the heels of two federal court decisions that were seen as blows to the Bush Administration warrantless spying program.
Earlier this month, federal judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled the entire program unconstitutional and illegal; another federal judge in San Francisco rejected the Bush Administration's attempt to dismiss these lawsuits by claiming they breach national security.
Mayer explained that the subpoena seeks to learn "whether the Bush administration has unlawfully targeted journalists, peace activists, libertarians, members of congress or generated an 'enemies list.'"
Afran said he expected the White House to again claim that the state secrets doctrine forbade it from answering the subpoena, but called the claim "Absolute nonsense."
"That's an invitation for presidents to write their own rules and we've had judges multiple times say that state secrets is not a defense," he explained, adding, "We hope the White House will realize the need to cooperate."

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