Sensenbrenner balks at more FBI power, defends Patriot Act hearing shutdown

[JURIST] US House Judiciary Committee [official site] Chairman James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-WI) [official profile] said Tuesday that while he thinks that many of the temporary provisions of the Patriot Act [text] should be made permanent, federal investigators should not be given the power to issue their own subpoenas for records, a power recently endorsed by a Senate committee [JURIST report]. "Administrative subpoenas" would allow the government to seize records from businesses or individuals without the approval of a judge or grand jury [JURIST report]. He said these have "no place" in such investigations and wants all warrants to have judicial review "as early in the process as possible". Sensenbrenner also defended his action last Friday in abruptly ending a Patriot Act hearing [JURIST report] called by Committee Democrats:

What the Democrats did on Friday was just bring a bunch of Bush-haters to talk about all the complaints they had about the Bush administration and its law enforcement philosophy... I reminded the members and witnesses about the rule of relevancy, and nobody paid attention to that. I didn't interrupt anybody. I let them use their time as they saw fit.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal has more.


 

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